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Recently a relative notified me that they would be stopping for 2 days in our town on their way to a 10 day cruise. They would be visiting with my mom and asked how they could "lighten my load" as I am her soul caregiver ( she is still managing at her home but needs ++ assistance and treats me like her personal doormat/slave.) I found this so insulting... like it was appeasing their guilt because they were offering help on their terms and only because they were passing by. It so happens that over that time frame, I am seeing a specialist for a biopsy to determine if I have cancer. No one but my husband knows this. These relatives think they are being very magnimonius and will go off on their holiday feeling like they have done their good deed. I am so done with everyone I just don't how to handle this...

Most of my caregiving day revolves around routine and anything that disrupts that routine is tough on my dad, and therefore tough on me. Receiving a visitor just takes too much out of him and creates havoc. It’s not worth it, no matter how well meaning the person may be. You’ve got a lot going on already. If you want to decline their offer, you do it. Wishing you well with your biopsy.
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Reply to anonymous1010889
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Other commentators, I think you might be failing to put yourself in the OP's shoes. When trying to keep all the commitment plates spinning (especially when at least one has a high stress component) adding _anything_, just one more plate to spin, is just too much to handle. There is no capacity to have a "refreshing" afternoon. Even when you are not present, you worry over how well your LO is coping with unexpected visitors who do not know your LO's current capacity/routines or what may upset LO. If your LO is upset and calls you during your own appointment, not being able to talk them back down and go to them brings it's own additional stresses too, as well as a pressure to rush your appointment and get back to your LO.
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Reply to TNtechie
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I would answer: "The best way to lighten my load during these two days would be to find someone or some place else to visit. I already have an important engagement scheduled and backup care planned for my mother. Disrupting her schedule further with your visit would not be good for either of us. Perhaps the next time you will be passing through things may work out better for a visit."

You have no responsibility to share your personal information or your mother's care details with relatives that only visit when passing through on their way to some other engagement. Be pleasant but refuse to share more details or go off topic... Q: You don't want us to visit at all? A: This is not a good time for a visit, maybe we can plan something for some other time. Don't allow yourself to get frustrated, be calm and reply to all challenges with the "this is not a good time for a visit" and let them be the ones to become frustrated.
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Reply to TNtechie
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I fully get how you feel but it’s something, and something is better than nothing. Please take the opportunity to let them take over for however much time they will. And don’t be picky about how the care is done, your mom will be fine with it done differently for a bit. I hope you’ll find a brief respite to be refreshing. I also hope your medical biopsy yields good news, keep us posted
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Reply to Daughterof1930
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I think the underlying feeling here is that their help is a drop in the bucket. Plus, hearing about the cruise doesn't help.
Take the offer though. The visit is probably meant to be so you can take care of your own thing.

May you have good health :)
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Reply to Lvnsm1826
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TXGirl82 Feb 11, 2020
Oh, I get it. When you are overwhelmed, it's hard to imagine that anything will lighten your load. It won't make a long-term difference by any means, but an afternoon or evening off is better than nothing at all.
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@baronvontrapp Regardless of the reason these relatives have for offering to lighten your load, why not take them up on the offer? Take @lealonnie1's suggestion and ask them to take care of mom for as many hours as they can so you can go do something fun or relaxing. Or think of a couple of things that need doing -- maybe something you've put off for a while for lack of time/energy -- and ask them to handle it for you.

I'm sorry that you may be ill and I hope you will be able to get some help to care for your mom.
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I'm sorry about your biopsy. I hope it's not bad news.

To me, it's not other people's responsibility to help care for my parents. Even other siblings don't have a duty to provide hands on care for a senior who is ailing or infirmed. I've never had any offers of help and would be shocked if I did. I chose to be the caregiver for my LO (who is my cousin), because, she had appointed me in all her documents and there was no one else. But, it was my choice.

I don't know if the relative was serious about helping, but, you could take her up on it, and ask if she would pick up lunch and bring it with her when they come to visit or ask if they can take your mother out for dinner, so you can relax....whatever your mother can accommodate. I suppose that taking mom with them on the cruise would be out of the question. lol
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
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I think sometimes we get caught in a kind of "down" attitude, and interpret actions of others as negative when in fact they're the opposite.

When I read your post, I thought how thoughtful that was of them to not only want to visit but to specifically ask how they could help.   If they're not in your area on a regular basis, to me that's even more generous.  

Obviously you're concerned and anxious about the biopsy; who wouldn't be?    The relatives don't know and can't know what frame of mind you're in.  

They could just bypass you and your mother entirely. 

I think the basic issue is whether you want to avail yourself of their offer, whether or not you find it disingenuous.   I would take it; even a few days would have given me some relief.
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Reply to GardenArtist
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I'm sorry you are having to deal with so much these days, especially with a biopsy looming over your head. Wishing you the best of luck with those results.

I think it was nice of your relative to ask you how they can lighten your load, personally. I've never, ever had a relative ask me any such thing, in passing or not. Nobody really cares WHAT we're going through with our loved ones, it seems to me, so having that question asked was an effort on your relative's part to do SOMETHING, albeit something small. She didn't have to offer anything at all, and could have passed through your area without saying a word.

Try to take the question in the spirit it was offered: likely with love. Is it enough? Of course not. But it's something, which is better than nothing. You can tell her you don't need anything, thank you. Or you can tell her you'd love to have the entire afternoon off to go see a movie, have a mani/pedi and lunch, and she can take over the care and handling of your mother.

Again, wishing you the best of luck with everything on your plate.
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Reply to lealonnie1
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I am very sorry for your situation.  As people here say all the time, you cannot make relatives help you.  Your choice is either say thanks, or say, sorry mom is not up to visitors.   If mom has money, you need to look into an aid.   If she does not have money, you need to look into veterans aid (they can give a stipend) or you local county on aging.  I cant tell if your mom is well enough to go to adult day care, some counties do provide a few days a week of that.
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