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11 Things You Should Never Say To a Caregiver

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4. “Caregiving seems like a burden. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice your life for your mother’s.” Caregiving is hard. That’s why so many people, both caregivers and non-caregivers alike, refer to it as a ‘burden.’ But, according to Laverty, when a friend or family member likens caregiving to a burden, what they’re really telling the caregiver is that they aren’t handling the situation properly and that this isn’t what they should be doing with their life. “Caregivers get into their role because they started out as loving, caring people trying to do the right thing,” she says.

5. “You need to get a ‘real’ life.” As the old saying goes, ‘you’re preaching to the choir.’ “Every caregiver understands that they need to get a life, have a plan, start making time for themselves,” Laverty says. But, telling a caregiver to ‘get a life’ is like telling them that what they’re doing now (caring for a loved one) doesn’t matter.

6. “Why don’t you just put you mother in a nursing home? It would be better for everyone.” Laverty says that comments like this can make a caregiver feel like they’re not doing a good job taking care of their loved one. The reality is, a nursing home might not be financially feasible, or a caregiver may be trying to keep their loved one at home for as long as possible. Outsiders think they’re offering good advice, when they might really just (unintentionally) be making a caregiver feel guilty.

7. “Why do you visit your dad so much? He doesn’t even know you.” If a caregiver is taking care of someone who has Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia and lives in a nursing home, people may ask why they bother to visit someone who doesn’t even remember who they are. “People need human contact and love, or they will just shrivel up and die,” Laverty says, “Caregivers shouldn’t feel stupid for going to visit someone who doesn’t recognize them outwardly. As long as they know who their loved one is, that’s all that should matter.”

Read More:
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11 Things You Should Never Say To a Caregiver originally appeared on

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4:11AM PDT on Jun 27, 2013


10:16AM PDT on Aug 8, 2012

It is good to think of CAREGIVERS. No one knows how difficult it can be, even when caring for someone you love dearly, a parent, a child, a husband or wife. Everyone seems to forget how stressful it is for anyone to be a caregiver.

Those who are CAREGIVERS are a blessing to all.

9:34AM PDT on Aug 4, 2012

Sometimes people just don't know the right thing to see, and I'm sure many well-meaning people have said to themselves, " Open mouth, insert foot!!"

4:10PM PDT on Aug 1, 2012

how does one respond when constantly asked "how is your "relative"?" who is quite elderly, no longer mobile and in a nursing home, and has been for several years...

they are obviously not well...

4:10PM PDT on Aug 1, 2012

how does one respond when constantly asked "how is your "relative"?" who is quite elderly, no longer mobile and in a nursing home, and has been for several years...

they are obviously not well...

4:06PM PDT on Aug 1, 2012


4:06PM PDT on Aug 1, 2012


8:58AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012


4:02AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Thanks for the article!

9:39PM PDT on Jul 30, 2012

Caregivers are so needed and all our attention and emotional understanding must be in use, when with one!!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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