Boundaries Are The Flip Side Of Asking For Help In Caregiving

By on May 2, 2016

By James Smith−

As I wake up with weary eyes, a heavy head and a dizzy feeling that seems to numb my senses and cloud my sense of judgment, I realize that I am exhausted. Plain tired, to be honest. This feeling of exhaustion seems to be lingering on my head since my sick mother moved in with me, as I had to juggle between my personal and professional duties.She seems to be suffering from severe memory loss that has progressed with time. She often faces communication issues and has developed confusions about time and places around her. Since, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s it was an absolute necessity for her to have someone around her 24/7. As a responsible daughter I obviously felt it was my obligation to cater to her caregiving demands and usually there’s an epidemic of “can’t say no” among women usually.

Personal experiences are priceless

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No matter how many guides or websites on caregiving that you read, it is ultimately your very own personal experience that moulds your perspective and helps you maintain your sanity. Caregiving for my mother made me realize that I need to respect my own personal space and set boundaries. Like actually master the art of defining my limitations. “No” and “I need your help” can be called the golden words for surviving the roller coaster ride of caregiving. If you don’t have predefined boundaries set for yourself you are bound to compromise on your personal health.

Caregiving experts very conveniently say “You should take care of yourself”, but little do they realize that it is easier said than done. It is certainly not possible if you do not have good boundaries set for yourself. What I have learnt while caregiving for my mother is something all caregivers should consider.

You are not liable to do something just because someone asks you to

It is human tendency or more appropriately women’s instinct to consider it their utmost responsibility to do something if someone just tells us to do a certain something. You need to be in your comfort zone and only go out of the way when you feel it is entirely necessary to do so. Recently, I realized that I almost vented out my anger on a colleague who asked me for a favor and then realized midway that why not word my “no” in a better way instead and tell the other person what I can do instead of what I cannot do.

You can’t satisfy everyone all the time

You are your own decision maker and you need to precisely identify where you are bound to take a certain decision for which you will be accountable for and where it is beyond your discretion to satisfy the other party. An apt example would be trying to pacify your sister who lives abroad and feels guilty about not being able to tend to your mother’s needs. While juggling between your responsibilities you can only keep her informed and help her feel better to a certain extent. If she complains to you for not being able to pacify her in a fulfilling way, you’re not supposed to feel guilty about it as you are already juggling between your personal life and caregiving for your mother. Without requiring any outside help from home care services or agencies. Your sister needs to understand that and certainly respect it.

You know what you are doing

Your being is more important than your doing. Everyone feels that they might have left some discrepancy in delivering their duties to their utmost capability. Have faith on yourself and take out time every day to absorb the truth and remember that you are doing the best you can.


James Smith is a passionate blogger. He loves to write on health and fitness related topics. Currently he is working for Centracare FLorida, a Tampa based urgent care provider.

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Boundaries Are The Flip Side Of Asking For Help In Caregiving