Dear Annie: I have read your advice column off and on for a while and am excited to see you have a Facebook page that you post things to.
I'd like your advice, as I have in-laws who have sent me various columns of yours that feature letters from people whose situations they think mirror my situation. Though I appreciate their wanting to offer your recommendations, their perspective on what my husband and I are facing is rarely accurate. They're almost always off base when it comes to knowing what is really going on. What ends up happening is that I become irritated that they are meddling in our lives, and it causes hurt feelings, as well as more problems between my husband and me. What is your advice to in-laws who want to offer advice, and what is your advice to me on how to handle them and prevent them from interfering in the future? — J.
Dear J.: Unsolicited advice is unheeded at best and offensive at worst. Perhaps you should send them a column about meddlesome in-laws straining a marriage. All kidding aside, of course their not-so-subtle hints are annoying. The phrase "too many cooks" comes to mind. Your husband needs to be the one to intervene by speaking with his parents. He should tell them that this marriage is just between you and him and that it is up to the two of you — and no one else — to find the right recipe.
Dear Annie: This is in response to the recent letter from "Sad Nana With So Much to Be Thankful For." Her husband is dying, and her children are helping with hospice care.
Under Medicare, she may be entitled to the hospice benefit, which entails more than just a weekly hospice nursing visit. She needs help from a home health aide, and she may be able to get one through this benefit. The aide would bathe him, dress him, help him get up or down, make his bed, clean his room, throw in a load of his laundry, etc.
She also may be entitled to a social worker for assistance with other community resources and emotional support for her and her children.
Hospice volunteers can come during certain time windows, so "Sad Nana" would know they are coming and could get out of the house for her own appointments, go for a walk or just take a nap (as she is probably sleep-deprived).
Many families benefit from a hospice chaplain, someone who is used to dealing with the spiritual issues surrounding death and dying, which your own clergy may be uncomfortable discussing.
I am sad to hear that the needs of "Sad Nana" and her family are not being met by hospice. Hospice care is a wonderful benefit that Medicare and most insurance providers offer at the end of life. It supports patients and families. — Retired Hospice Nurse Manager
Dear Retired: I'm printing your letter in case anyone in a similar situation has not considered or looked into the possibility of home hospice care. Thank you, nurse.
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