By Marlo Sollitto, AgingCare.com contributing editor
By nature, caregivers are nurturing people who put other’s needs before their own. But how can you set limits without feeling guilty? Where do you draw a line and say “I can do this much and no more”?
Cindy Laverty is a caregiver advocate, founder of The Care Company and The Cindy Laverty caregiving talk show. “Caregiving can last for years. It can take over your life if you let it. Most of us didn’t plan on being a caregiver, and never thought about the issues or the time commitment involved,” says Ms. Laverty, a former caregiver herself.
Being able to say ‘No’ can save you from emotional and physical burnout, and open up opportunities of shared caregiving responsibilities while deepening your relationship with your elderly loved one. Here are five tips from Ms. Laverty to manage your caregiving role:
Have an honest, realistic talk with yourself – the earlier in your caregiving journey, the better. Ask yourself how much of a commitment you are willing and able to make? Get clear about what you can do – and what you will do. Caregiving is not a one-person job. After you’ve come to terms in your own mind, get your parent on board and have a family meeting, before a crisis arises. (Family meetings: Have peace, avoid arguments)