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How to Say ‘No’ to Caregiving

Prioritize

Those who know how to manage their own personal life fare best as caregivers. Ms. Laverty says, “Knowing what matters most in your life helps you put things into context,” Ms. Laverty says. “This is your final journey with someone you love. How do you want that journey to look? How do you want your life to look at the end of the journey? Do you want your marriage intact? Do you want to maintain your career? You don’t have to do everything, and you shouldn’t do everything. Caregiving is one component of your life.”

Set Boundaries

In her own experience and her work with other caregivers, Ms. Laverty has realized, “Many seniors become narcissistic and self-absorbed,” she says. “All that matters is that their needs being met immediately. They demand and demand more. At some point you’re going to have to say I can’t do that right now.’ Set boundaries and stick to them. Don’t become an indentured servant.”

No is OK

Learning how say one little word no can make a world of difference. “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. “Sometimes in life, the answer has to be no,” Ms. Laverty says.

Get Help

If you are a caregiver who has taken on too much, understand that you cannot fix all that is wrong. Speaking to a professional a counselor or a caregiving advocate can help get your life back on track. “Don’t just stay on a runaway train. Once you get to the point of complete overwhelm, you will ruin your health, destroy your relationships, or just walk away. Get help before you reach the breaking point,” she says.

Related:
11 Ways to Stop Caregiver-Related Depression
6 Secret At-Home Stress Relievers
7 Ways to Tackle Stress Eating

How to Say ‘No’ to Caregiving originally appeared on AgingCare.com

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AgingCare.com connects family caregivers and provides support, resources, expert advice and senior housing options for people caring for their elderly parents. AgingCare.com is a trusted resource that visitors rely on every day to find inspiration, make informed decisions, and ease the stress of caregiving.

28 comments

+ 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

thx

4:06PM PDT on Aug 1, 2012

thx

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

thx

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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