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On my mind: Caring for older loved ones can be a blessing & a challenge

Bedtime snuggles for grandma and grandchildren.
Snuggles before bedtime with Grandma Herman.

We know caregivers need care, too. See how Thrivent’s new membership benefit can help.

My first memory of living in service is inspired by my grandma, Dorothy Becker.

In the late 1970s, my brother and I would pile into the back of our grandma’s station wagon to go to the nursing home connected to First Christian Church in Minneapolis. My grandma would serve cookies, and Aaron and I would sing for the elder members of our church.

This is just one of the ways Dorothy, known fondly by friends and family as “Herman” (a nickname from my grandpa that just stuck), showed up for her community. She led generations of our family to faith when she started attending the church next door, where her grandfather was a custodian. She was a founding member of the Board of the Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis and rocked babies there until she was 75; she served on the Lady Jaycees and volunteered with the Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and the First Christian Church Residence.

Even as it was clear to our family that Grandma Herman needed to slow down, it was hard to convince her that it was time.

When she moved into an assisted living center at age 96, she looked around and said, “I’m not sure this place is for me. Everyone here is so old.” Indeed, Herman elevated the social scene and bridge games of her fellow residents up until her passing at age 100.

The desire of most aging adults is to remain independent and in their homes as long as possible, like my grandma did. But doing this safely and successfully can be difficult.

Where and how we care for our loved ones is far more than a burden of time or finances alone.

We are paying tribute to those who have helped shape our values and cement our faith. We do our best to help them live with dignity amid compromised capacity. Some days, this simple goal can feel insurmountable. Knowing that you are not alone and have support can make all the difference.

This is why Thrivent is proud to introduce a new membership benefit: Caregiver resources from Dari by Homethrive. This benefit provides a one-stop online destination for meaningful, practical information to help you navigate all aspects of the caregiving journey—at no cost to you.

In addition to an extensive library of articles, videos and other content, you can chat live online with Dari’s team of experts and get personalized recommendations based on your location and caregiving situation. If you’re caring for someone who is aging or has special needs, I encourage you to see how caregiver resources from Dari can help. I’m confident you’ll find relevant information and resources to support you and your family.

Caregivers, I’m keeping you in my heart this holiday season. I hope you’ll be surrounded by those you love, making memories and cherishing your time together. And amid the bustle of the holiday season, I hope you’ll find a moment for yourself, too.

-Written by Carolyn Sakstrup, Chief Growth and Generosity Officer at Thrivent

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Learn More

Access more information about Caregiver resources from Dari by Homethrive, what it offers and how to sign up.

Member benefits, programs and activities are not guaranteed contractual benefits. You should never purchase or retain any insurance or annuity products simply to be able to participate. Participation is subject to applicable Terms and Conditions.