Family caregivers cycle through so many different feelings in a day. Don’t add an extra loop to their emotional roller coaster – make sure you know the 10 things you should never say to a working daughter.
1. I don’t know how you do it. Neither do I. And you know what? If I stop to think about it, I’ll be overwhelmed.
2. You need to take care of yourself. I know! What I don’t know is how to find the time. And hopefully it goes without saying, if you mention an oxygen mask, things might get ugly.
3. You’re a saint. No, I’m not a saint and please don’t give me a halo or place me on a pedestal. It just makes me feel guiltier when I think bad thoughts.
4. Any plans for the weekend? Yes! I’m so excited. I only have to work one job this weekend – the unpaid one. Oh, and I need to go to the pharmacy, the grocery store, sort through some insurance statements and clean out 40 years of clutter. What about you?
5. Maybe you should cut back at work. First of all, unless you’re planning to pay for my mortgage tomorrow and my long-term care later, don’t suggest I give up my paycheck. Second, work is often my only break from caregiving!
6. You should ask for help. What a novel idea! It never occurred to me to ask my deadbeat siblings to help care for their parents.
7. Have you considered a nursing home? Have you considered minding your business?
8. I could never put my parent in a home. That’s too bad that you’ve closed yourself off to the possibility of providing what might be the right level of care to your parent. Have you ever changed a catheter?
9. It must be so hard for you. Your point?
10. Can’t you just (fill in the blank)? I’m going to end this conversation now – for your own safety.