11 Ways A Caregiver Can Respond to Insensitive Comments

By Anne-Marie Botek, AgingCare.com Editor

Caregiving can be a difficult topic to talk about—especially if you’ve never been a caregiver.

This means that even the most well-meaning friends and family members may find themselves grasping for the right words to express their concern for a caregiver. Unfortunately, this often results in an, “open mouth, insert foot,” situation that can leave a caregiver fuming.

How should you respond when someone spouts off a smack-worthy statement about your life as a caregiver?

Cindy Laverty, caregiver coach, radio talk show host, and author of, “Caregiving: Eldercare Made Clear and Simple,” offers her advice on how caregivers can respond positively to some frustratingly common comments:

1. Comment: “Why are you having such a hard time being a caregiver?”
Caregiver response: “If you’d walked a mile in my shoes, then maybe you would understand. You haven’t had to do this yet, but I will definitely be there to support your if you ever do have to discover how hard being a caregiver is.” Depending on your relationship to the person who said the comment, you may or may not feel comfortable expanding on the particular difficulties you’re facing.

2. Comment: “We haven’t seen you in such a long time. Why don’t you get out more?”
Caregiver response:
“I’m having trouble finding time for myself because I spend so much time taking care of my mother. I would be willing to accept any help you could give me as I search for support and respite care resources.” The person making this comment may want to help, but probably doesn’t know how to, or whether you would accept their help. Laverty says that letting someone know you would accept their assistance can encourage them to reach out.

3. Comment: “You look really tired. Are you making sure to take care of yourself?”
Caregiver response:
“No, I’m not taking care myself like I should be.” Though it may be difficult, Laverty suggests trying not to take these comments too personally. The person saying this is probably just trying to express their concern for you.

Read More:
Gratitude Gives You Wings: 6 Tricks For Rising Above Negativity
Finding and Maintaining Your Personal Space While Caregiving
Your Life: Pleasantly Purposeful, Or Dull Drudgery? You Decide

How A Caregiver Can Respond to Insensitive Comments originally appeared on AgingCare.com.

4. Comment: Caregiving seems like a burden. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice your life for your mother’s.
Caregiver response:
“I appreciate your concern, but I don’t think you understand why I’m doing this. If you have the time, I would love to try and explain it to you.” According to Laverty, if a caregiver wants people to understand what they’re going through, they should explain it to them in a calmly candid way. If you constantly feel like your friends and family “just don’t get it,” consider taking the time to describe your situation to them.

5. Comment: “You need to get a ‘real’ life.”
Caregiver response:
“I’d love to get on with my life—but I’m not sure how to do it. As my friend, would you be willing to sit down and help me figure out how I might be able to do this?” An offensive comment can be present a caregiver with a hidden opportunity to ask for help, according to Laverty. “Caregivers need to be far more proactive in their approach to things—less of a victim. No one is going to be ready to help you unless you help yourself,” she says.

6. Comment: “Why don’t you just put you mother in a nursing home? It would be better for everyone.”
Caregiver response:
“I can see how that option might appear to be the solution, but I’m afraid you may not know all of the facts of the situation.” (See explanation for number 4)

7. Comment: “Why do you visit your dad so much? He doesn’t even know you.”    Caregiver response: “As long as I know who he is, that’s all that matters. People need love and nurturing human contact, no matter what ailments they have.” Laverty points out that not much is known about what people with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia are aware of. So a caregiver should never feel foolish for visiting a loved one who doesn’t remember who they are.

Read More:
Feel at Peace: Lose the Caregiver Guilt
Getting Caregiver Support When You Have No Time
Internet is #1 Way Caregivers Get Support

How A Caregiver Can Respond to Insensitive Comments originally appeared on AgingCare.com..

8. Comment: “Don’t feel guilty about…”
Caregiver response: “It may seem irrational to you, but part of the reason I feel guilty is that I desperately want to fix what’s wrong in my loved one’s life. I know I can’t fix everything, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to.” (See explanation for number 4)

9. Comment: “Let’s not talk about that. Let’s talk about something happy and fun.”
Caregiver response:
“I really need to talk to someone about this. Do you mind if we discuss it first—and then go and do something fun?” Laverty says that caregivers need to do a better job of letting their friends and family know that sometimes they need to talk about the difficult things.

10. Comment: “You must be so relieved that it’s over.”
Caregiver response:
“Yes, I am,” or “No, I’m not.” You’re allowed to (and probably should) be honest, according to Laverty. And you don’t have to justify them to anyone.

11. Comment: “When are you going to get over it (a senior’s death) and move on?”
Caregiver response:
“Caring for my loved one has been my whole world for the past (insert time). I am going to need some time and space to figure out where my life goes from here.”

Read More:
Go Ahead, Have a Good Cry – 5 Reasons Why It’s Good for You
LOL: Why You Should Laugh Even When You Don’t Feel Like It
The Lighter Side of Caregiving: Appreciate the Humor

How A Caregiver Can Respond to Insensitive Comments originally appeared on AgingCare.com..

 

 

54 comments

Past Member
Past Member about a month ago

Every one of the substance you said in post is too great and can be extremely helpful. I will remember it, much obliged for sharing the data continue upgrading, looking forward for more posts.Thanks my site www.marketing1on1.com

Past Member
Past Member about a month ago

I needed to thank you for this awesome read!! I certainly getting a charge out of each and every piece of it I have you bookmarked to look at new stuff you post. browse this site www.spartagenxtforsale.com

Past Member
Past Member about a month ago

I am trusting the same best exertion from you later on too. Truth be told your experimental writing abilities has roused me. original site timesharedonations.us

Past Member
Past Member about a month ago

Awesome post I might want to thank you for the endeavors you have made in composing this fascinating and learned article. original site www.bedtimemattressandmore.com

Past Member
Past Member about a month ago

Only aspire to mention ones content can be as incredible. This clarity with your post is superb and that i may think you’re a guru for this issue. High-quality along with your concur permit me to to seize your current give to keep modified by using approaching blog post. Thanks a lot hundreds of along with you should go on the pleasurable get the job done. miracle bust review

Past Member
Past Member 1 months ago

This is such an incredible asset, to the point that you are giving and you give it away for nothing. I cherish seeing blog that comprehend the quality. Im happy to have discovered this post as its such an intriguing one! I am dependably watchful for quality posts and articles so i assume im fortunate to have discovered this! I trust you will be including more later on... minecraft online servers free netflix accounts 2016

Past Member
Past Member 1 months ago

Thanks for sharing this information. I really like your blog post very much. You have really shared a informative and interesting blog post with people.. Long Tail Pro

 .
.2 months ago

I have been checking out a few of your stories and i can state pretty good stuff. I will definitely bookmark your blog
forskolin weight loss extract

Aqsa B.
Aqsa B.2 months ago

Amazing and intriguing article. Extraordinary things you've generally imparted to us. Much appreciated. Simply keep making this kind out of post.
town car

Aqsa B.
Aqsa B.2 months ago

I have bookmarked your blog, the articles are way better than other similar blogs.. thanks for a great blog!
Obsession Phrases