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Why do people always say, “I hope you and your parents are well.” Well!?! They know they have Alzheimer's and Vascular Dementia and both are in the late stages. It is so annoying. I feel like saying to them, “No! They are not at all well! They both have fatal conditions and are living a horrendous life at the moment, thank you.”


That is what I want to say or scream at them but what should I say?

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"They're not well, but I appreciate your optimism and thank you for your concern."
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anonymous974934 Dec 13, 2019
I like this response.
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So, just to inject a totally different viewpoint here;

Yesterday, I was out with a friend; her mom, who is 99 has dementia; this lovely lady has 24/7 aides paid for by Medicaid.

My friend expressed displeasure that when she calls, her mother tells her that she is not yet dressed.

When my friend is known to be coming to visit, the aides make sure that "mom" is dressed and up in her wheelchair.

I mentioned that "mom" is still a person who is allowed to say "no thank you" when/if the aides say "would you like to get up/dressed now?"

This information did not go over well with my friend. I'm never sure WHAT to say to her.

In the same fashion, when my mom had dementia and was in a nursing home, my friend often said things to me that infuriated me.

I think having a parent who is declining in this way makes one angry at whomever says ANYTHING to you.

Understand that part of this may be a reaction to your own powerlessness and move on.
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gdaughter Dec 15, 2019
I'm still sitting here totally shocked that someone has 24/7 aides paid by medicaid....and while agreeing totally with you that mom has rights to say no she doesn't want to get dressed...that if the friend is concerned she ought to raise the issue herself and get to the basis of it.
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I saw my S I L a few weeks ago. She lost both her mom and dad last year and is feeling really down. She kept apologizing to me. I said "listen, stop apologizing, there is no shame in feeling depressed. If more people were open about it there wouldn't be such a stigma attached to it"

So, I hazard to say to you, say the same thing if someone asks how your parents are. Tell the truth! You don't have to blurt it out in an angry way. Just say something like this "to be honest with you, my parents are both in declining stages, it's very hard, I hope you never have to deal with this but thanks for asking" Maybe it would help them if they ever have to deal with the same thing in the future. The truth will set you free!
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seekingjoy Dec 15, 2019
I like your answer
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The friend of a client I was visiting - both ladies have terminal but not currently disabling conditions, and support one another emotionally - told me: "we always say 'FINE, thank you.' FINE stands for Feelings Inside Not Expressed."
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NeedHelpWithMom Dec 14, 2019
I love that. CM.
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Just say, “They’re doing as well as they can considering the circumstances.” Why intentionally ( and rudely, I might add) embarrass and turn off people who are just trying to be polite?
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Suetillman Dec 15, 2019
Excellent answer.
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Els, What would you like people to say? I am not being facetious, unless we educate people they will have no clue.

Especially this time of year, when greeting cards are being sent, we may see people that we do not see the rest of the year, we can expect people to greet us with or write good wishes.

I have people tell me I am lucky that my Dad is still alive. Yes, lucky to have had another year of abuse from him. To deal with an ever growing hoard. I let their comments slide.

If you want to answer honestly, what about, "it is challenging to watch my parents decline... and hard to take care of their ever growing needs"
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anonymous974934 Dec 13, 2019
I get the "You're lucky your mother / father is still alive" and "I wish my mother / father was still alive" a lot. These are my least favorite comments. It adds to my already heavy feelings of guilt. The "How is your mother / father?" questions haven't bothered me. Maybe those asking me have been genuine in their questions.
I've met many other care givers since becoming one myself, and I don't know what to say or ask them without coming across as insensitive or insincere. I, too, would like to know which comments and questions were best received.
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I think that people are well meaning and at a loss of what to say. I think there is little that CAN be said. I guess it would be better to hear "I know your Mom and Dad are having problems and I wonder how you are coping; it has to be very hard". But it is the age old thing, and why, ultimately people walk away from the ill and with those caring for the ill. They simply don't know how to approach us best. I think they do their best.
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They mean well. Its hard to know what to say.
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NeedHelpWithMom Dec 13, 2019
Sometimes they mean well. Or some people truly do. I get that but some people are just nosy and others are just plain dumb, right? We either educate them or shake our heads.
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They're still talking to you?

Many, "disappear" learning of medical ailments , lest they are asked for help
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Simply say "Thanks! we are doing the best we can".
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