Ask Amy: Caregiving Spouse Is Overwhelmed

Dear Amy: My wife was recently hospitalized, and, as I have done previously, I sent messages to family and her friends to let them know her status. After each message, I received many in return, some asking questions that required a personal response. When my wife was about to be discharged, I received multiple offers to help with shopping and other chores. I had to write a tactful response to each, explaining that her diet has to be carefully controlled, so I have to do the shopping. I have such mixed feelings about the incoming messages. It is wonderful that family and friends care, but the volume of traffic requiring a response has been a burden on me at a difficult time. What do you think is the proper protocol when receiving an update on CaringBridge, or through a mass email like mine? Should people think good thoughts but maybe not respond directly? Respond with a banal thanks/best wishes message? Or demonstrate interest and caring by asking for more information, thus creating a stressor for the caregiver? Thanks so much for the insights in your column, which I read in the LA Times. Related Articles Ask Amy: Uber dispute becomes uber permanent Ask Amy: Woman should leave abusive relationship Ask Amy: Trauma survivor worries about a deep dive Ask Amy: Roommate feels litter-boxed in Ask Amy: Dad’s parenting style includes surveillance I look forward to your thoughts on this puzzler. — M, in Santa Barbara, California Dear M: I think it is normal, rational, and thoughtful to respond quickly and directly to a CaringBridge message or a group email when the message contains an important update about someone you care about. I completely understand the stress that these messages can create. However, even though you cannot control when or how people respond, you CAN control their expectations regarding a return response from you. At the end of each of your email updates, you should include a couple of sentences like this: “Thank you all for your caring and concern.

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  • Ask Amy: Caregiving spouse is overwhelmed
    Dear Amy: My wife was recently hospitalized, and, as I have done previously, I sent messages to family and her friends to let them know her status. After each message, I received many in return ...
    09/18/2021 - 1:14 pm | View Link
  • Ask Amy: Caregiving spouse is overwhelmed
    Dear Amy: My wife was recently hospitalized, and, as I have done previously, I sent messages to family and her friends to let them know her status. After each message, I received many in return ...
    09/18/2021 - 3:29 am | View Link
  • ASK AMY: Caregiving spouse is overwhelmed
    Dear Amy: My wife was recently hospitalized, and, as I have done previously, I sent messages to family and her friends to let them know her status. When my wife was about to be discharged, I ...
    09/18/2021 - 2:32 am | View Link
  • Ask Amy: Caregiving spouse is overwhelmed
    Dear Amy: My wife was recently hospitalized, and, as I have done previously, I sent messages to family and her friends to let them know her status. After each message, I received many in return ...
    09/18/2021 - 1:05 am | View Link
  • Ask Amy: Caregiving spouse is overwhelmed
    Dear Amy: My wife was recently hospitalized, and, as I have done previously, I sent messages to family and her friends to let them know her status. After each message, I received many in return ...
    09/17/2021 - 10:34 pm | View Link
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