a frustrated woman talking on the phone

Sometimes caregiving has wild ups and downs, but other caregivers face endless days that are the same.

I know people mean well, but asking if someone with an incurable disease is feeling better wears on my nerves. Sometimes I find myself wanting to let people know that if they find a cure they’ll be reading about it in the New York Times. I’m not the only one who’s torn between appreciation that they care enough to ask and frustration that they just don’t get it.

I’m tired of that question along with “Has he had any improvement ?” You don’t get better from advanced P.D.! – Sandra T.

Sandra, I am with you. Especially from family member who never visit or offer any assistance. I am tempted to ask, “Why”? – Doris M.

How do you respond to family and friends who regularly ask for updates on someone’s condition when their condition is stable…and not going to get any better?

I thank them for asking. – Viki G.

I usually say “he’s stable” and “we’re taking it one day at a time”. – Malki S.

I welcome the question. It tells me that you care, about me and my child. I thank them for asking and move on. Since it is my adult child that I’m caring for these days and he has been just diagnosed with a rare and incurable liver disease, lots of people are asking lots of questions. – Dianne S.

I always thank them for asking. I, personally, never tire of someone caring enough to ask about my loved ones who are chronically ill. – Holly V.

I always thank them for asking and say that he’s doing well today; some ups and downs, but well today. It’s really all I can offer and I think it’s all people want to hear. – Carolyn V.

I feel like most people forget. Or because you’re not in the hospital everything is fine. I don’t want to depress anyone or anyone to think I’m depressing so I just say we’re doing well. – Marissa A.

I say she is doing as well as can be expected and leave it at that. – Sandy D.

I’m glad when people care enough to ask how my Dad’s doing and I tell him who asked about him. – Laura C.

I just say “she’s okay” what else can I say? she’s the same as she has been. – Vicki H.

say Dad is fine, the same and stable…But I sure could use a cherry pie! – Lynn V.

I just say we’re taking it day by day. We rejoice in the good days and pray through the bad days. – Lisa-Marie G.

Oh he’s ok thanks for asking me, you can stop by if you want – Darlene A.

My default answer about my mom is “She’s ok.” Sometimes I might throw in a “Some days are better than others.” – Ana M.

I have a strict Confidentiality and never respond. If it is a Close relative I refer question to primary care MD. – Rachel C.

Truth is hard to explain..and most people don’t understand either. “He’s doing okay” is all I manage to say. – Veena M.

I say she is holding her own, really no worse no better..and also say to me that is a good thing…because she really won’t get any better and I try to not let people who ask is she doing any better questions kinda blow with the wind. – Donna G.

I put the needle on the record…needle on the record…needle in the record… – Gina Z.

Written by Michelle Daly

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  1. It is nice that they care to ask. And it is true that some days are better than others, and we take one day at a time, but a progressive disease is just that – progressive, ….. So it’s not going to get better.

  2. It’s not right/ok, to ASSUME everyone is feeling like death, sick, or crap.
    Those wonderful FEEL GOOD Hormones can make people feel loved, have LESS Stress and much of their pain SEEMS to disappear – it may only be for a few hours, but it does happen. ❣️

  3. He’s holding his own for now.

  4. I wondered what to say and discussed at my support group, I too appreciate caring people but some are doing out of obligation . I’d like to say something to be truthful but not long winded. My husband has Alzheimers in moderate stages, does not really know or recognize friends or family or remember for more than a second (literally) most things.


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