Being A Family Caregiver: How Do I Just Say “NO”?

December 8, 2013

We see it often in our home care business.

A loved one has become sick or disabled and everyone in the family scrambles, trying to figure how to care for him.   You happen to be the one who lives close, so the rest of the family leans on you to be the point person, to make the appointments, to accompany him on doctor’s visits, etc.

Elderly Senior Home Care Stair AssistIt may be surprising to learn that almost 40 percent of Americans are caregivers to a loved one at some point in their life.  It’s easy to get started, but if the need for care grows, the responsibilities may become a full time job.  Many times the caregiver has their own family, and the spouse or children start asking for a little more of the caregiver’s time back home.

If this has happened to you, you may have felt torn.  You are probably busy with a career, but also want you show your sick dad know how much you love him.  You think that hiring a professional caregiver sends the wrong message.  After all, mom and dad did so much for you.

So, when is it OK to say no?

This varies for every family, but you should say no when the professional caregiver is able to provide better, less stressed care than you can yourself.  Hiring someone to help does not mean that you do not love your mom or dad.  It simply means that you have other obligations as well.  With a professional caregiver on the job who takes care of the small things, you can worry about the larger issues and your time with dad may be more enjoyable, less stressful.

Clearly, there is a cost associated with this, and the decision should be made with the input of all concerned.  But engaging the services of a professional in home aide may be the best way to say, “I love you”.


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