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