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What You Shouldn’t Say to Your Loved One’s Caregiver

More than one million people reside in nursing homes across the United States. Similarly, hundreds of thousands more have caregivers come to their homes daily to ensure their general wellbeing and assist with everyday chores. When visiting family in nursing homes or at their own house, you may want to strike up a conversation with their caregivers.  

However, there are some things you should never say to them. While most of our comments are meant to express gratitude toward a caregiver, they don’t always come off that way. They may even be hearing the same thing multiple times a day. The following comments, while well-intentioned, may be unwelcome to a caregiver.

“I Could Never Do What You Do”

Nurses, doctors, and caregivers alike will probably hear this countless times throughout their careers. Nobody knows if or when they’ll be thrown into a situation where they have to act as a caregiver. In most cases, it happens suddenly, while other times it may be a gradual increase in responsibilities toward an aging parent. People step up in times of need, especially when it involves a loved one. 

“You Look So Tired”

Most caregivers work anywhere from eight to twelve hours a day. Unlike people in other jobs, though, they’re constantly on their feet, running from one patient to the next. They have to clean up messes, make sure patients take their medication, and bathe patients, among countless other duties. You’d be pretty tired too. 

“Why Are You Having a Hard Time as a Caregiver?”

People who don’t have an eldery or ill loved one to tend are the ones who say this comment the most. It’s hard for caregivers to watch a patient with dementia or Alzheimer’s slowly slip away or an eldery patient take their last breath. These experiences take an enormous toll on someone’s mental state.

“When Are You Going to Move On?”

Grief is an individual and necessary part of the healing process. Caregivers spend hours a day with patients, getting to know and care for them. It will take time for them to move past their care recipient’s death, and you should not rush their process. 

“I Don’t Know How You Do It”

At best, this comment acknowledges a caregiver’s busy and hectic life and work. However, if you say it negatively, it can come off as saying the job itself is too hard and challenging to do or is looked at more like a chore. 

“Let Me Know How I Can Help” 

Unless you truly mean it, you should never say this phrase to your loved one’s caregiver. It’s very vague, and most times the caregiver won’t know how to respond to it. Instead of asking, just do something. Throw in a load of laundry or pick up groceries for them. 

Similarly, don’t say “call me if you need anything” unless you’ll be at the nursing facility or their home within minutes. If you offer this and they end up calling you, you can’t decline to help them. In general, both of these remarks just add another thing to a caregiver’s to-do list. 

What Can I Say to a Caregiver? 

All this isn’t to say that you can never talk to your loved one’s caregiver. Just think carefully and empathetically about what you say. Try these comments instead:

  • I’d like to bring over dinner. Which day is best for you? 
  • Would you like to talk about anything? 
  • Can I help with the laundry? 
  • Would you like me to bathe them today?
  • Do you want me to pick you up a coffee or anything else? 

These comments are direct enough where you won’t be bombarding them with questions, but also relaxed enough where they won’t feel overwhelmed. 

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in New York City 

We understand how stressful and upsetting it can be to see your loved one in agony. If you believe that a family member is experiencing pain or negligence from their caregiver, contact the trusted attorneys at Dalli & Marino

We’re a group of successful nursing home abuse attorneys who approach each case individually and are dedicated to helping you recover the money you deserve to compensate you for pain or loss. Call 888-465-8790 or contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation.