My sisters think visiting twice a year makes them “long distance caregivers.” I’m the one who deals with the everyday practical and emotional problems of watching dad slowly deteriorate. My head hurts. I have no time for friends. I’m worried about keeping my job. Then they show up and tell me what I “should do” or “could have done” better. They never ask me how I’m holding up or if I need anything! Dad loves them. I’m worried that if I fight back, they may stop visiting.
- Jan, Ft. Pierce
Stop worrying and start responding. When your sister tells you what you “should” or “could” have done, calmly answer: “I’m not sure about that, but to properly test your theory, I’m going to turn the job over to you right now. I need a break anyway. I’ll be back by dinner.” Then leave the room. Sorry, but this only works if you don’t stop or look back—which means you’ll just have to imagine the surprised look on your sister’s face. On the other hand, you won’t have to cover your smile. P.S. Tell your sisters you are burned out and the only way you can continue is to hire help for two days a week with the three of you splitting the cost.
Judie Rappaport, President & Founder
Preferred Lifestyle Services
Trust Yourself. You Have the Knowledge, Insight,
and Power to make the right decisions for you and your parent. ©
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