What are some practical ways to serve elderly widows this time of year?

Widows always need to be cared for, but as the weather gets cold, greater needs emerge more than at any other time.  These greater needs come in two forms:  The first is increased outdoor upkeep on their property that most elderly widows are physically unable to do.  The second is the long, dark, cold nights that can heighten tendency to depression and prolong feelings of loneliness. 

Because of this, here are some very practical ways to love and serve elderly widows who may suffer from one, if not both of these challenging struggles this time of year:

Rake leaves.  For those who live in places where the seasons change.  Pulling this off without them knowing it was you is especially sweet!

Clean gutters.  If you find an elderly widow cleaning out her own gutters, step in immediately and take over.  Most will just leave this job undone, which can have unfortunate results if left unattended too long.

Shovel snow from driveways.  For those where snow doesn’t fall in significant amounts…think pulling weeds as a substitute.  This is another great way to serve anonymously, if possible.

Rides to and from church or the doctor.  Even if a widow can get to church or the doctor on her own, the kind jester of a ride and personal involvement can be very meaningful.

Change light bulbs.  This is just one example of a physical task in the house that regularly needs to be done.  A general rule can be to set up a time to go to a widow’s house and offer your services in whatever way a widow may need help.

Go fix something.  Widows don’t always have a “handy man” around anymore.  If you are one, make your skills known and offer up your services.

These require a small effort, but almost always have huge fruit to come from it.  These are some of the most significant ways our members serve one another in our local church.  I encourage you to engage in it in yours.  Pastors, make sure you lead by example if you challenge your people to serve in this way.

Posted in Caring for Widows
4 comments on “What are some practical ways to serve elderly widows this time of year?
  1. Dan S. says:

    Some thing I have done is help set up Over the Air reception for new TVs. If you are tech savvy, helping with AV things is always smart.

  2. Jon Anderson says:

    Thanks for the tips! I’m a young pastor who has really been benefiting from this blog.

    One other thought is that it is important to know who you are serving. I know some elderly who would be upset to have their weeds pulled or leaves raked. that gives them a purpose and something to do (provided they CAN do it).
    Often the best thing you can do is sit down with a cup of coffee and ask them about their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, and then settle in for an hour of listening.

    Graceandpeace,
    Jon

  3. David Logsdon says:

    My mother lives right down the street from Auburndale Baptist Church and it would be great for someone to visit her or assist occasionally. I live across town and usually get to see her once a week.

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