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Setting Boundaries as the Caregiver

When we’re young, we learn about boundaries—where they are and how not to cross them. As we grow, oftentimes there are no issues respecting these invisible, unspoken boundaries that have been dictated to us by both our society at large and on a more personal level by our family units. When caring for our older family members, however, it can be much more difficult to distinguish the lines between those boundaries—for both them and ourselves. Sometimes, we so desire to be of assistance that we don’t realize that we, in fact, might be overstepping. This is why it is crucial to set boundaries for caregiving and make sure they’re well established at the beginning of the journey.

One of the more common complaints is that a caregiver may feel that his or her loved one has been taking advantage of them—perhaps not physically, of course, but simply in the way that they may ask the caregiver to do things. The caregiver may feel run ragged, may see no chance of relief in sight, and hear no thanks given by their charge.

If this is the case for you, then it is absolutely important to make sure some boundaries are set. After all, you want to be sure and be there for them inasmuch as you can be, but you also need to be sure and take time for yourself too. Remember that it’s okay to speak up! You are as deserving to have your feelings known and your voice heard as your loved one is. You matter just as much as they do.

It can be difficult for caregivers though, since we don’t want to make anyone feel like they’re imposing on us, no matter if they sometimes unintentionally do. Simply let your charge know what boundaries you’ve set for yourself and make sure they understand and will abide by those boundaries. It can also be important to reassure them if you need some time for yourself that you’ve ensured they will be taken care of by someone you both trust while you’re away.

It can’t be overstated—you have got to take care of yourself first before you can begin to even think of looking after someone else. Take care of yourself physically, mentally and emotionally. This includes seeing that the boundaries you’ve set are known and respected.

If you or someone you love needs assistance with Elder Care law issues, call 856-281-3131. Let us help ease your stress and give you a plan.

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