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Care Management ~ Eldercare Advocacy ~ Dementia Care

Serving families in Palm Beach, Martin and Port St. Lucie counties

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You Have Their Love. Do You Have Permission to Help?

Judie Rappaport
December 4, 2014

Dear Judie:

When I found out my favorite uncle(81) has terminal cancer, I immediately went to Pennsylvania to help. My aunt(80) has her own health issues and was glad to see me. She was always there for me when I needed her, and I wanted to return her love by relieving her of the responsibility of taking care of my uncle. After I set up live-in home care, called Hospice, went grocery shopping, cleaned, cooked, everything I could think of, my aunt changed from nice to cool and resistant to my help.  What happened?

- Penny, Stuart


Dear Penny,

I can hear readers saying, “I could use help, Penny, come to my house!” If they actually expressed those feelings, that would constitute an invitation. Taking charge of your uncle’s needs was your aunt’s domain.  Unless she invited you or agreed to your help before your visit, your loving and well-meant reaction must have felt like an invasion of her privacy.  Call your aunt and apologize. Tell her how much her love and kindnesses meant to you through the years.  Show your love and respect by asking her permission; “Can I help?”.  If she declines, tell her you love her and not to hesitate to call if she needs help or just wants to talk.  Send cards, write warm letters, and call her frequently to respectfully repeat your offers and expressions of love.



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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