Life Advice



Thank-You Notes and Caregiving Solutions

Annie Lane on

Dear Annie: There have been two different occasions where I sent a baby shower gift because I couldn't make it to the shower. On both occasions, I never received a thank-you note. One was for the niece of a friend, and the other was for my own nephew and his wife's baby shower.

I told my sister about not receiving a thank-you note from her son, and I told my friend that her niece hadn't sent me a thank you. Both of them made sure to mention that a thank-you card WAS sent. I was surprised that neither of them made an attempt to resend a thank-you card to me, considering they knew I didn't receive it. If it were me, I would have gotten another one into the mail ASAP to make sure the person received a thank-you card.

Have things really changed that much, that it was almost my problem that I didn't receive a thank-you card, or am I just that old-fashioned? -- Really Perplexed

Dear Really Perplexed: Expecting other people to behave how you would have behaved is only going to lead to disappointment and unhappiness. There is nothing old-fashioned about a thank-you note or showing your gratitude. But if both parties told you that they sent you a thank-you note and were grateful for your gifts, let it go. Maybe there was something wrong with the mail. Appreciate that they said they did send the thank-you notes.

Dear Annie: I am a retired home health nurse responding to the caregiver who is a nephew to his disabled uncle. I have observed many families who are primary caregivers to their loved ones who also live in the same home with them.

Even if they have time off, it is a 24/7 job. It is very difficult to take on a caregiver role in general, but much more difficult if it's family. The stress is almost overwhelming and builds up tremendously over time.


Depending on his uncle's insurance, it's highly possible to get paid caregivers to come in and do the majority of the work. I would suggest he contact the Department on Aging and Disabilities for help. His uncle may be eligible for one of these amazing programs. The department can send out a social worker to evaluate his uncle's needs and set him up on a program that will pay for the hours offered based on the evaluation. At first, the nephew may have a sense of guilt for relinquishing what he sees as his responsibilities but in time will grow to appreciate the assistance offered. -- Middle-Aged Caregiver

Dear Middle-Aged Caregiver: I hope your letter encourages others who are in similar situations to seek help from professional caregivers. I always love hearing from professionals in their fields. Thank you for all you do to help those in need.


"How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?" is out now! Annie Lane's second anthology -- featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to



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