Really, your friends just mean to be helpful—but it’s astonishing just how clueless they can be. Below, a list of 5 things caregivers often hear—and some responses that just might work.
Oh my friend’s dad had that, and it was awful!
What you want to say: “I don't need you to tell me how bad this is.”
What you do say: “Oh, do me a favor, please. Find out what worked best for them to ease the pain.”
I can tell you're stressed...you've put on a little weight.
What you want to say: “I am stressed. What’s your excuse?”
What you do say. “Daddy and I share a bowl of ice cream every afternoon. It’s the highlight of our day.”
How long does he have left?
What you want to say: “Longer than our friendship.”
What you do say: “We are grateful for every moment.”
Wow, you look worn out!
What you want to say: “Since I am carrying the ball for all of us, I’ve had to give up sleeping.”
What you do say: “It’s true. I could really use some help. Could you take Mom to her PT appointment this week?”
Do you worry that you'll get it too?
What you want to say: “Just like social ineptness, Alzheimer's/cancer/Parkinson's isn't contagious.”
What you do say: “I take the best care of myself that I can, and I spend my time thinking about what I can do to help Mom.”