Good Caregivers Must Learn To Say NO!

Saying no can sometimes be very hard for caregivers. As a rule, caregivers are nurturers who put others before themselves, so when its time to say no, caregivers often feel guilty or feel like they are being selfish. So how do you set limits for yourself and others?

According to When and How To Say "No" to Caregiving, setting emotional limits involves a process of change with five key steps.
  • The caregiver must admit that the situation needs to change in order to sustain a meaningful relationship. Without change, the caregiver risks poor health, depression or premature death.
  • The caregiver must reconsider personal beliefs regarding what it means to be a good caregiver. Since the caregiver generally has moral expectations of his or her own behavior, redefining what “should” be done to what is reasonable and possible to do can be a liberating moment.
  • The caregiver needs to identify key people (friends, family or professionals) who can support and guide the caregiver through this change process. 
  • The caregiver needs to develop communication tools to express the need for boundaries. 
  • The caregiver must be able to sustain this new approach while allowing the elder time, to react and express his or her feelings about the changes. Readjusting the balance in any relationship takes time, especially when both members have competing needs. 
If you are a caregiver who has taken on more than you can handle, learn to say no NOW. Letting things get too far out of control can cause great harm to you and everything you are trying to do.  Saying no to loved ones can be hard, but not as hard as having a breakdown or losing relationships that are important to you. The first priority for any caregiver is to take care of yourself first! Don't let yourself down.  Get help if you need it. Get involved in local caregiver support groups, talk to supportive friends and family and read good caregiver resource articles like the ones below for tips on how to say no and not feel guilty.  


How to Say ‘No’ to Caregiving

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