Life Advice



Ask Amy: Exhausted caregiver deserves some respite

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

When I floated the idea, my husband said, "But you love to be with your sisters — there's a light in you with them that you don't get anywhere else."

Maybe, but it also means I'd spend two weeks in a house with my parents.

Then again, it might be the last time we're all together!

Sigh. With your calm and clear perspective, can you help me navigate what feels like an enormous emotional minefield?

I'd appreciate learning how to disengage a bit without feeling guilty. Or sad. Or pressured.

– Maxed Headroom


Dear Maxed: I’ve been there. And, while you might believe that your current frustration and grief will somehow help you to miss your folks a little less after their passing, it doesn’t seem to work that way.

All of these tasks, chores, and trips are further bonding you to them.

And this, my exhausted friend, is the heartbreaking equation of caregiving: The more you give, the more you lose.

I suggest taking your folks to your sister’s house, but you and your husband should stay in a rental house or hotel. Let your sisters take the lead.


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