She could not care for herself, the doctor told the nurses.
She couldn't talk or understand what was said to her. Someone had to clothe and bathe her. She was incontinent and couldn't walk. She was a restless sleeper and needed to be comforted frequently.
After describing the "patient," he asked the nurses how they would feel about taking care of her. Most of them said they would find the job hopeless or frustrating or depressing.
The doctor told them he very much enjoyed taking care of the "patient" he had described - his six-month-old daughter.
The nurses had assumed he was talking about an elderly woman. And that, according to an editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association, led to a discussion why it was considered more difficult to care for an older patient than a baby.
The doctor suggested that a change in attitude is needed. The aging patient, he said, is just as lovable as a child. Everyone who is helpless deserves identical care because life is precious at every stage.
I came that they may have life and have it to the full. (Jn. 10:10)
Master of Life, help me to see You in everyone.
From 3 Minutes a Day by Father John Catoir with Joseph R. Thomas. A Christopher Book.
Note: Father Catoir used to be the pastor of the church my family attended when we were little kids in NJ.