It’s a heartbreaking reality, but there are some aspects of caregiving that you may not be able to handle for your loved one. There are a million reasons that this could be the case, but it’s important to handle the situation properly.
Be Honest with Yourself
All too often family caregivers believe that if there’s something that has to be done for their loved one, then they have to do it. But what if that task or requirement is outside of your skill set? Or you simply can’t do what is necessary to the level that it needs doing? You have to be honest first and foremost with yourself in order to know when it’s really time to say no.
Respect Your Own Priorities and Boundaries
Within your own life, you’re still your first priority. It might not feel that way since you’re now responsible for your elderly loved one’s care now, but that’s still the case. Sometimes your own priorities are what will interfere with your caregiving duties. That has to be okay because it’s not something that you can change.
Investigate Your Options
Even if it feels like you don’t have options when it comes to caregiving, you still do. Start with asking family members and friends if they’re able to help with specific tasks. If they’re not able to pitch in, or at least not to the level that you need, you might want to start considering home care providers. They’ve got experience in a wide range of tasks related to caregiving and can take quite a burden off your shoulders.
A No Now Isn’t a No Forever
Your situation, priorities, and boundaries can change, even if they seem set in stone right now. Just because you’re saying no now, that doesn’t mean that the answer is the same a few months or even a few weeks from now. Don’t let the fact that you have to say no to some aspects of caregiving now affect you down the road.
As you gain experience with caregiving, it becomes easier to sort out what is a “no” and what is okay for you and your situation.