Aging In Place

10/11/2021 | By Seniors Guide Staff

By Amy Dickinson

Advice columnist Amy Dickinson fields suggestions from a woman whose husband learned how to set limits during illness, to protect his normalcy.

Dear Amy:

I’d like to pass along some recommendations for people who are ill and burdened by the well-meaning but often clunky reactions from other people.

When my husband was diagnosed with Stage IV prostate cancer seven years ago, he wanted some control of normalcy in his life.

He created a number of boundaries so he could live his life as fully as possible in a normal way:

One: You can ask me about my cancer on Monday, and only Monday.

Two: At home we had rooms designated as “cancer talk-free zones.”

Three: For the well-meaning people with so many solutions pushing herbal remedies, we said that we had found out (which we had) that the interactions of herbs, etc., could affect his medical care, so thanks, but we can’t use all ideas.

It took a while, but conversations from well-intentioned people settled back to “normal,” except on Mondays, when my husband was prepared to face dialogues.

– Maureen

Dear Maureen:

These recommendations are so smart!

Every person facing serious illness and extended treatment deserves a safe space where they can be who they want to be – and how they want to be.

Your husband was proactive in creating boundaries for himself, but boundaries can also be created and maintained by caregivers.

I’m sure these guidelines will be adopted by many people. Thank you so much for passing them along.

In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She addresses personal questions, such as how to set limits during illness, by addressing issues from both her head and her heart. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers. Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068

© 2021 by Amy Dickinson

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Seniors Guide has been addressing traditional topics and upcoming trends in the senior living industry since 1999. We strive to educate seniors and their loved ones in an approachable manner, and aim to provide them with the right information to make the best decisions possible.

Seniors Guide Staff