Photo credit Tim Doerfler
Dear Carol: My sister is the primary caregiver for our dad, who is in a nursing home because of Alzheimer’s disease. She lives in his community and I live over 100 miles away. I try to visit every other weekend to give my sister a much-deserved break, and often we’ll meet at the nursing home. I do understand her stress. She has a husband, a job, middle school-age kids with all that goes with raising kids, plus the primary responsibility of our dad. The problem is that her stress shows in her body language when she's helping him. I know that I'm not always as soothing and gentle as I should be either, so I’m not being super critical about her. Still, I’m not sure that she’s aware that she needs to try to do better in this area. Dad sometimes looks confused even when she’s trying to soothe him, and I’m wondering if her motions tell him that she’s angry. Should I bring this up? — LT.
Support a caregiver or jump-start discussion in support groups with real stories - for bulk orders of Minding Our Elders e-mail Carol