If you’ve been a caregiver for any length of time, chances are you’ve experienced your fair share of unsolicited advice. While the person usually means well, it can hurt when they speak out of turn. When all you hear is criticism, it’s hard to turn the other cheek, smile, and move on.
I had to laugh as I read through this list of 10 things caregivers don’t want to hear:
10. Doesn’t Medicare (or your insurance) pay for that?
9. It must be hard to work and take care of your husband, so why don’t you just quit your job?
8. Your mother belongs in a nursing home. OR: I could never put my mother in a nursing home.
7. You have to take care of yourself; your husband (mother, father) needs you.
6. Why don’t you get your family to help out more?
5. I don’t see what you’re complaining about. Dad seems fine to me.
4. I don’t know how you do it. You must be a saint.
3. Just call me if you need some help.
2. I know just how you feel.
1. God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.
See yourself in any of these? Ever had to bite your tongue holding back a not-so-nice response?
While sometimes it is appropriate just to hold back and move on, if you find a continuing pattern of criticism or “suggestions” from the same person, it might be time to correct their behavior.
1. Acknowledge their concern and ask for suggestions
Many siblings fight over differences of how to care for mom or dad. “You let mom eat that?” or “Why didn’t you let dad do this?” It can be frustrating, especially when they don’t contribute as much time for caregiving as you do. The next time they make a comment, acknowledge their concern and ask for suggestions. [Read more…]