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How to Say ‘No’ to Caregiving

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How to Say ‘No’ to Caregiving

By Marlo Sollitto, 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)

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How to Say ‘No’ to Caregiving originally appeared on

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+ add your own
7:55PM PDT on Sep 13, 2012

Since most car givers are women- this is mostly a female issue. Get more males involved.

7:43PM PDT on Sep 13, 2012

I can use this advice so my grandmother can't browbeat me into being her step-n-fetch!

12:14AM PDT on Sep 10, 2012

thanks for sharing

4:06PM PDT on Aug 1, 2012


4:06PM PDT on Aug 1, 2012


1:21PM PDT on Jul 27, 2012

thanks for sharing

11:56PM PDT on Jul 26, 2012

Care giving is such a physically and emotionally demanding job. I used to give a care giver a break once a week just for a couple of hours. Honestly, it's not for everyone. One tiny woman who can't walk takes all your physical strength to lift from a chair and their needs are so great.

My heart goes out to all care givers. I think it should be a priority of every nation to at least offer respite care at a minimum of every 6 months, so that care givers have a much needed break.

8:16PM PDT on Jul 26, 2012


9:00PM PDT on Aug 10, 2011

You all know the schpeil on an airplane: put you OWN oxygen mask on first!

I think often a family member doing caregiving ONLY out of obligation is doing both parties a disservice.
Do what you can, both in skill and time, and it is perfectly OK to have more people on the team.

10:29PM PDT on Aug 7, 2011

"“You might think, ‘I can’t say no to mom.’ But your mom probably said no when she was taking care of you as a child."

I never realized this. We have a duty to our parents, but the right answer isn't always acquiescence. Thank you.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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