Things you should never say to a caregiver?

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Jessica Daly 8 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #57635 Reply

    Cori Carl

    What’s your ultimate pet peeve that people say to you?

  • #57693 Reply


    I often have people say to me, amidst the stress and fatigue, “you are so lucky to still have your parents.” or ” I wish I could still see my father or my mother”. This is SO difficult as I have guilt about being frustrated with the care giving and yes some days the anger about what they do or how they treat me!!!

  • #57829 Reply

    Joy Johnston

    The most common response I received from well-meaning people was, “Why don’t you move your Mom in with you?” There were many reasons why that would not have been feasible but I certainly did not want to dive into those details with virtual strangers. Even if it is offered up as helpful advice, it can make the caregiver feel guilty. Offer advice to caregivers only when it is asked for, the last thing caregivers need is another lecture.

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by  Joy Johnston.
  • #57983 Reply


    How about: you are such a good person.


  • #58006 Reply


    Aren’t you getting paid to care for your mom? That’s the worst thing I’ve heard!

  • #58019 Reply

    Bill Hager

    My pet peeve: ” ” sums it up nicely. Silence. Not one of my siblings calls, texts, emails, or any other form of communication with me while I have placed my life on hold to take care of our mom. Vascular Dementia is cruel and merciless. If I listed a second peeve, it’s “you’re such a good son”. Hell no! The lessons my mom taught me stuck in my gray matter between my ears! Treat people the way you want to be treated, love people the way you want to be loved. I do for her both out of respect, duty as her son, and love and admiration for being my rock through the years I was growing up. My father bailed out when I was 4…his loss because I turned out pretty damned good!

  • #58071 Reply

    Heather Boldon

    “What is your schedule looking like? We need to get together!” Uhhhhh, yeah. Let me pencil you in between my facial & massage. Recently I was looking for a canned blurb for my Facebook timeline that explains as much as I desperately want to accept invitations, get out and do something without a care in the world…It’s next to impossible… In all honestly, I am so exhausted most of the time I’m not sure I’d be able to enjoy myself.

  • #58261 Reply

    LuAnn Masterson

    Even though I know they mean well it irks me when I make perfectly clear that my husband is dying & someone will say “enjoy your week!”….or”I hope he gets better soon!”
    How about….” can I clean your refrigerator for you?”

    • #59473 Reply


      Very exhausting and an immensely isolated life doing what we do. People can’t be so stupid to believe we aren’t drowning. When I am asked to do something, I say the same statement repeatedly…. Would love to, but I have my mom etc. Their plans and life keep moving.

  • #58456 Reply

    Joy Leland

    I’m drowning. Everybody sees me drowning, but they all stand on the shoreline staring, some muttering about how they wish there was something they could do to help. A handful might wade out into the water and point out where the life-preservers should be. Or, maybe they’re hollering, “Don’t forget to take care of YOURSELF.” But no-one gets into a boat or swims out to keep me from going under. When I finally manage to drag my exhausted body to shore, they all stand around clapping, telling me how wonderful I am. When I catch my breath, I ask why no-one helped me and they tell me that it was my choice to go into the water.

    • #58600 Reply

      Julie Alsto

      Hi Joy, my heart aches for you. Your words strike a cord in me because it’s exactly how I’ve felt too. So frustrating to even be around others sometimes because they have no clue and no real desire to help, but then praise me for being so strong for my family. I’m beyond exhausted and don’t enjoy anything in my life from the burnout. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. – Julie

    • #59321 Reply

      Katie Birchenough

      I resonate wth all of these comments! Especially what Joy said. At one point I asked for some support, and my brother said he would kick in…then he didn’t call me for FIVE MONTHS.

  • #58556 Reply


    Why do people feel so comfortable saying, “you know the caregiver usually goes first, you need to take care of yourself.”

  • #59281 Reply


    My brothers told me separately that I baby my Mom that is why she is not better. She had a massive stroke and where it was she now can not write properly and her numbers are incorrect. She has gone to bank and told them she wanted the cash in 3’s and 7’s. I should let her do things on her own they are telling me!

  • #59475 Reply

    Jessica Daly

    The worst is when people constantly ask about thevery ones you car for but never about you! People stay focused on the ones who need care that often the Caregiver becomes invisible. This happened to me for years caring for a sick spouse while the illness happened tto us both. I appreciate it when my husband refers to when WE were diagnosed with a life threatening heart disease and not when I was diagnosed!

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