Caregivers walk their own unique path through chronic illness.

A caregivers role can be both rewarding and exhausting, difficult and joy-filled, meaningful and frustrating, inspiring and isolating. Wherever you are in the journey, we’re so glad you’re here! We invite you to step into hope, purpose, worth and joy right here.

DID YOU KNOW?

Chronic Joy Ministry offers awareness materials for caregivers, which highlight the significant impact of illness on every aspect of life -marriage, family, faith, finances, friendships, education, hobbies and work.

These quick easy fact sheets can be used with those in your sphere of influence – friends, family, churches, small groups, co-workers and neighbors.

The DID YOU KNOW? Awareness Campaign features weekly images across our social media platforms –FacebookInstagramTwitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. LIKE or FOLLOW Chronic Joy to see us in your feed. Then like and share to spread the word and grow awareness.

Begin the conversation with the question, DID YOU KNOW? and you will be changing the landscape for more than half of the world’s population who live with chronic physical illness, for the 1 in 5 who live with mental illness, and for all those caring for someone with a chronic physical or mental illness.

Together, as we raise awareness, increase knowledge, and utilize educational materials tailored for all who are affected by chronic  illness, we will also be shattering stigma and isolation, reminding each other that while caring for a loved one is hard, there is hope.

There is always hope.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • 4 in 10 people are caring for a loved one with significant health issues. [1]
  • More than 65 million people provide care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member. [2]
  • Family caregivers spend an average of 24.4 hours per week providing care. [3]
  • Nearly 1 in 4 caregivers spends 41 hours or more per week providing care. [3]
  • 1 in 7 (16.8 million) caregivers care for special needs children. [2]
  • Caregivers have been in their role for an average of 4.6 years, with three in ten having given care to their loved one for five years or more (31%). [4]
  • 23% of family caregivers caring for loved ones for 5 years or more report their health is fair or poor. [2]
  • 40% to 70% of family caregivers have clinically significant symptoms of depression with approximately a 25% to 50% of these caregivers meet the diagnostic criteria for major depression. [5]
  • More than 1 in 10 (11%) of family caregivers report that caregiving has caused their physical health to deteriorate. [6]

[1] http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/07/18/as-population-ages-more-americans-becoming-caregivers/

[2] http://caregiveraction.org/resources/caregiver-statistics
Caregiving in the United States; National Alliance for Caregiving in collaboration with AARP; November 2009

[3] https://www.caregiver.org/caregiver-statistics-demographics
National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. (2015). Caregiving in the U.S.

[4] http://www.caregiving.org/data/Caregiving_in_the_US_2009_full_report.pdf

[5] http://caregiveraction.org/resources/caregiver-statistics
Zarit, S. (2006). Assessment of Family Caregivers: A Research Perspective

[6] http://caregiveraction.org/resources/caregiver-statistics How Do Family Caregivers Fare? A Closer Look at their Experiences. Center on Aging Society. 2005. How Do Family Caregivers Fare? A Closer Look at their Experiences. Center on Aging Society. 2005

FEATURED BOOKS:

Ambushed by Grace: Help and Hope for the Caregiving Journey

Shelly Beach

Caregiving is probably the hardest work you will ever do. Yet it can also change your heart and transform your life. Experienced caregiver Beach offers practical help and spiritual insights to those facing the challenges of caregiving.

Blessings And Prayers for Caregivers

Annetta Dellinger 

This book provides encouragement for the realities of daily care giving challenges. Through brief Gospel-focused readings and Scripture verses, this small book offers refreshment and renewal for the exhausted caregiver. Each reading focuses on Jesus as the source of our hope and strength. Blessings and Prayers for Caregivers can be tucked in a pocket or a purse to go with you wherever you are and to be at your fingertips whenever you have a minute or two and need a word of encouragement.

Being There: How to Love Those Who Are Hurting

Dave Furman

We all know people suffering from sickness, disability, depression, or grief. Where are we to find strength in such circumstances? Dave Furman offers support, encouragement, and wisdom for those called to care for others in need – equipping us to effectively care for the hurting and pointing us to the strength that God provides.

A Spirituality of Caregiving

Henri J.M. Nouwen

If you provide care for another person, whether you are a family member or a professional caregiver, you know that caregiving is hard, sometimes unappreciated work. But have you ever considered that it isn t easy to be the care receiver?nt.

Caregiver’s Survival Guide: How to Stay Healthy When Your Loved One is Sick

Kay Marshall Strom

Whether you are caring for an elderly parent, a spouse, an adult child or another family member or close friend, Strom’s stories, drawn from her own and others’ experiences, will encourage and comfort you. And her practical ideas for how to meet your own needs for energy, patience, strength, wisdom, peace and creativity will carry you through many difficult days.

Don't Sing Songs to a Heavy Heart: How to Relate to Those Who are Suffering

Kenneth C. Haugk, PhD

The words or actions we use in our attempts to help hurting people may unintentionally add to their burdens instead of easing their pain. This book overflows with practical examples and specific suggestions about what to say or do and what not to say or do. It will touch your heart, expand your thinking, and guide you in bringing Christ’s loving care to hurting people when they need it most.

BLOG POSTS

Watcher – Caregiver

Caregiver. For years I never considered that this label belonged to me. It seemed too formal, to restrictive, too...important for what I did to help my chronically ill mum. Hugs and housework and understanding. Surely those didn’t deserve such a label? Yet when my younger sister was diagnosed...

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Watcher – Caregiver

The Ups and Downs of Caregiving

When I was a child I rarely considered what it meant to become elderly. I certainly didn’t think life would become more difficult when someone I loved needed caregiving assistance in her elder years. Now that I am a senior myself, I see how complicated life can be. A caregiver is defined as “an...

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Love seeks one thing only: the good of the loved one.

Field Notes of Pain – Jesus, A Pain Pioneer

This is part two in a two-part series entitled: Field Notes of Pain ….. There was this youth group kid that whittled. You know, the art of taking a piece of wood and turning it into a troll or something. He did that. And he was good. I was fascinated -  first, that a high school boy liked to...

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Field Notes of Pain – Jesus, A Pain Pioneer

“I’m fine, don’t worry about me!”

  There is nothing easy about watching others struggle with chronic illness. In watching, we suffer too. There are two answers, one is community, the other is God.  Watchers, we are not Saints “I’m okay.” “I’ve got this.” “Honestly, it’s fine, I promise.” Sometimes it’s easy to forget that...

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“I’m fine, don’t worry about me!”

The Hidden Labor of Disability

Do your best to offer to help do some of that work if you can. The hidden labor is real and exhausting, despite being hidden. ... Understand if they cancel plans at the last minute. Empty their dishwasher or fold their laundry while they’re on the phone. READ MORE
Image of cacti with Colossians 3:12

God of the Broken Beautiful: A Prayer from Jeremiah 29

O God of the Broken Beautiful, You take the most common, ordinary things and transform them into nourishment for body and soul. Thank you for feeding us well. We began with gratitude, Lord, but we need to also make space for lament today. Our hearts are broken, We are people who always hold some kind of pain... #ChronicJoy #DiscoveringHope #prayer READ MORE
Lavender in bloom with Jeremiah 29:11

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WEBSITES

Caregivers with Hope

Caregivers with Hope exists with the goal of offering caregivers the tools and empowerment to be better. Drawing upon founder Peter Rosenberger’s 30 years of experience as a caregiver, Caregivers with Hope offers clear, proven, strategies and tools to guide caregivers towards a healthier lifestyle in every facet of their life. In addition, Caregivers with Hope provides invaluable tools to counselors, clergy, medical practitioners, employers and businesses faced with addressing the needs of the caregiver.

The Caregivers Space

Because only another caregiver can understand
Not everyone has friends who understand or will even listen; that’s why we’re here. We provide a safe and open space—at no cost to you—where you can be real about what it’s like to care for someone dealing with a serious disability or illness.

Stephen Ministries

Stephen Ministry is a one-to-one lay caring ministry that equips congregations and empowers lay caregivers to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care to people who are hurting. Stephen Ministries offers many caregiving books and resources.

BLOGS

Called to Watch

For the family members, friends, spouses, neighbors and co-workers of individuals with chronic physical or mental illness. There is nothing easy about watching others struggle with  chronic illness. In watching, we suffer too. There are two answers, one is community , the other is God. This blog points watchers to both.

Christian Caregiving

A blog site with the goal of recognizing and helping family caregivers.

Daily Devotions for Caregivers

Jeanie Olinger was thrust into caregiving when her son was in a tragic accident, but she soon discovered that there is “a whole world of ‘us’ out there! Many times we find ourselves alone. Even the church can disappear quickly and good friends distance themselves because our world has changed. But God does not change with circumstance. My faith is what has carried me through and these devotions will hopefully help us all make one more day – encouraged in Him.”

Faith Filled Caregivers

Devotions to inspire hope and victory. “As I have watched my father and so many friends become full-time caregivers, I realized that there was a need to tell their stories. I hope the stories, Scripture verses, and prayers on these blogs will inspire you as you care for others, and that the stories of others in similar situations will be a source of encouragement to you.” – Nancy Bowen Brown