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I am so tired of people always willing to give an opinion when they know nothing of our family situation and especially when they have never been a caregiver so they know nothing about how stressful it is to do.

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I think some people make judgemental comments because it frightens them to think of them in our shoes as caregivers - or - they feel guilty that they couldn't be a caregiver to their loved ones so they decided to put their loved ones in a nursing home and instead feel the need to knock us caregivers down a little to make themselves feel better. I don't pass judgement on those that put their loved one in a nursing home because it's a personal decision and there are multiple variables involved in the decision-making process. It's definitely not a universal yes or no answer to what do we do with an aging loved one. In my head, I envision slapping these judgemental people across their faces after they've told me their unsolicited comments - and I feel so much better! :-)
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I hate it when a medical professional, such as a therapist, decides to create a task list for me as caregiver, either without understanding or caring that I have been trying to do these things for years and facing resistance.

Even though I told this person I've gone through this enough and learned through experience to choose my battles carefully, she still left me with a verbal list of things she thinks ought to be done.

She is right in some sense that it would increase safety, but she didn't seem to comprehend that I've learned to pick my battles carefully, and even then only the ones I can win. I learned that from a very wise boss back in the late '70s.

With limited energy, I want to focus on what I know I can achieve, not what I've tried unsuccessfully and eventually backed off on because of resistance.

And with my father entering probably the last months of his life, I don't want to quarrel with him; I want each of us to enjoy these times and to be grateful that we had each other in our lives.
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JesseBelle, One of the people I work with always has to point out that her husband cared for both of his grandparents by himself while he worked full time. Well let's make him a saint. My sisters who do not help at all think they both know it all. Or people who say how sorry they feel for my Dad because he lost his wife last year and made the choice to sell his house and go into assisted living. Well you know what I lost my Mom, I had to clean out my childhood home with no help except my husband, and I had to help my Dad find the assisted living. Just had enough!
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Kootiebear, I remember one time at work I was grumbling about driving my very elderly parents all over hill and dale... one co-worker said it is only fair as my parents drove me when I was younger. Well, I snapped back saying that yes that is true, but when I was a child my parents weren't 65 years old, big difference !!
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CD Reader That is a fantastic response! She is lucky to have you. All of our parents who have a child to be their caregiver are lucky to have that child.
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CDNReader, I love the response you give to people. I am going to have to start using that!
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From now on, I will reply to those who like to tell me how blessed or lucky I am that I still have my mother that SHE is blessed or lucky to have ME. That's what I said the other day, and it was SO satisfying!!! (And the woman looked at me for a few seconds and said, "You are absolutely right.")
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We can be subjected to religious abuse as caregivers. People can point to the Bible with scripture about a child's duty to parents. The take home message is that if you don't do these things for a parent then God is going to be unhappy and we'll go to hell forever. Most people who do these things feel they are righteous when they do it, but they are actually being controlling and abusive, using God to be that way.
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My pet peeve comment was "you should be honored to care for your mother". This was from a cousin who finally showed up at the nursing home the morning her mother died. She knew nothing about my situation.
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What happened, Kootiebear?
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Dear Kootiebear,

I know its hard enough to be a caregiver, we certainly don't need to hear judgement or insensitive comments. It felt like more insult to injury when I was carrying the burden of taking care of my dad.

In hindsight, I wish I was more assertive and I could calmly say "I know you mean well, but what you are saying is not helpful and please don't say that again to me."

Take care of yourself the best you can. Sending hugs!
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I"m sorry you are getting judged. It's unfortunate. Actually, most of the people that I encounter have some idea of what's involved. They either have dealt with it within their own family or know someone who's done it from church, neighborhood, co-worker, etc. So, the minute I say a word, they look all frozen and in pain.....like they know.
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Yes, I do. I hate it when someone meddles in our affairs, especially if that person is a know-it-all but has no caregiving experience.
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