Shut … the … hell … up! That’s what caregivers would like to say. No not say, scream, when family members drop by for a short visit and begin to offer comments like this:
“She looks fine to me. Why do pretend taking care of her is harder than it is?”
“Mom told me her things are disappearing. What’s going on?”
“What do you mean it’s time to look at placing Dad in a nursing home? I promised him I’d never do that.”
“He’s lost a lot of weight. Why aren’t you feeding him enough?”
“I can’t take her. I have a very busy life. You get to stay home all day and watch TV.”
“I should have known better than to invite you! You always have some lame excuse.”
“We can’t make it for his birthday. We’re leaving for vacation in Italy that day.”
Caregivers, I invite you to share some the absurd things family and friends have said to you. Feel free to also add what you would like to have said in return and didn’t. (If responded with a great comeback feel free to share that too.)
Friends and family members – I challenge you memorize and follow the advice in the quote above. Dr. Phil, that goes for you too.
More Caregivers comment on the Dr. Phil Challenge to use his resources and the Dr. Phil Foundation to establish a grant to help the caregivers who need it most.
steven chandler – Comment: At 52 I am now a health care provider for my 91 year old father I’ve gone through all my savings is a constant struggle my sister took all of my father’s money in 2006 he was sick at the time and she convinced him to change his will and he gave her all the money I’m here for my father 24 hours a day and If it wasn’t for me the last year and a half he would be dead. I’ve put my life on hold I put my relationship of 8 years on hold and it’s overwhelming at times
Sherri Diller – Comment: I fully agree!! Dr. Phil, just take a look at the state differences that caregivers go through. Boils my blood. All types of government agencies claiming to help. I have worked in a number of nursing homes and I am a single daughter, caring for her single mom w/stage 4 alzhiermers,, both from a dysfunctional background. I love her dearly. But I dont trust the system. Your help is so needed. My mom deserves so much more. I am all she has. When she goes, I am the only one left.
Christina – Comment: Yes Bobbi, I will share your blog post. It’s so important. For some reason the word ‘respite’ goes unheard by many of those who are not caregivers. I don’t know how many times I was asked what I wanted and I answered the same thing every time, respite hours for myself so I could catch up on sleep or just sit and do nothing. The answer was always, yes, but what else? I was even recommended to take antidepressants! Thankfully I had learned to speak up and stand up for both myself and my husband by the time that was suggested. They never mentioned it again!
As caregivers, even though we most definitely save the state money we are not looked upon as the assets we are. My conclusion to that crazy reality is that we are actually stopping the money from flowing in a certain direction that may be advantageous to some (greed!). My husband would have been in a nursing home years before his passing if I had let them take him. No rime or reason to that since that would have cost thousands of dollars per month compared to a few respite hours for me. Fortunately he never had to go to a nursing home.
Pat DiCesare – Comment: Dr. Phil, I think your audience would benefit from hearing Bobbi Carducci’s amazing and emotional story of her experience of being a caregiver to her father-in-law.
Beth Anderson – Comment – If only there could be a place to go where, at no cost to the caregiver, they could bring their loved ones to, to be cared for, if only for an hour or two. The caregiver could get a workout in, run a few errands or just sit and have some quiet time. I wish you luck in your efforts to help caregivers, but some family members have no idea what that caregiver does, how they feel, what they need or how they struggle with day to day activities. Thank you again.
Every 26 minutes another person in the U.S. is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another from of dementia. The numbers are growing every day. Help me get help for caregivers.