Life Advice



Ask Amy: Caregiving spouse is overwhelmed

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

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?


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