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What’s Your Advice? Amy Says Stay

You may know Dear Amy–she writes an advice column which appears in many newspapers across the country. Her column appears in my daily copy of Chicago Tribune.

Amy regularly answers questions relating to caregiving and does so again today. “Bothered Boyfriend” asks for advice about, and on behalf of, his girlfriend, who helps her elderly mom. BB writes:

“She has to purchase food and supplies for her almost on a daily basis. Her mom is about 90 and has some signs of dementia, but she refuses to go to a nursing home, and my friend doesn’t have the heart to force her into one.”

He adds that his girlfriend would like to move, but won’t because of her responsibility to her mom, a responsibility that “BB” says is sucking the life out of her. So, BB would like to know, What should his girlfriend do? (He also mentions a greedy step-sister, but that’s for another advice column.)

Amy writes that we all face the question of, “Should I run and or should I stay,” during our lifetime. This time, Amy says, is the time to stay. She encourages the girlfriend to get help, including for regular breaks, and to use services like Meals on Wheels and the Office on Aging.

So, I’m curious, how do you think Amy did? Share your thoughts and advice you’d give the girlfriend, in our comments section, below.

About Denise

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I began working with family caregivers in 1990 and launched in 1996 to help and support them. Through my blog, I share words of comfort and offer coping strategies and tips. I also write opinion pieces about recent research, community programs and media coverage of caregiving issues. I've written several caregiving books, including "The Caregiving Years, Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey," "Take Comfort, Reflections of Hope for Caregivers" and "After Caregiving Ends, A Guide to Beginning Again." You can purchase my books and schedule a coaching call with me in our store.

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  1. I love advice columns — when I was little I wanted to grow up to be Ann Landers. :-)

    I would have liked to see Dear Amy address BB’s motives. I would guess the girlfriend is already stressed out with her caregiving duties but suspect BB is not helping matters by bringing up the subject of moving and telling her caring for her mom is “sucking the life out of her.” If I were “Dear Amy” I would suggest to BB that he pitch in to help so the girlfriend gets a break. I would also suggest he lend her a supportive ear instead of pushing her to make a decision about moving and trying to enlist an advice columnist to support his POV.

    Apparently, I wouldn’t be the “warm and fuzzy” type of advice columnist. :-)


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