Boundries are important.

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Boundries are important


It cannot be emphasied strongly or often enough how important it is to set boundries. The sooner the better. Under "On your mind" I wrote "People treat us the way we allow (and sometimes encourage) them to." The "honeymoon phase" - when we allow ourselves to look at an eldercare situation with rose colored glasses we set ourselves up for defeat.


The fact of the matter (may not want to face the truth, but it is neccessary) many elderly and disabled individuals will take complete advantage if they are allowed (sometimes encouraged) to. I read many comments here to the effect of "The more I do, the more s/he expects". Ask yourself why. . . Most often the answer is because you answer the call (demand) all the while complaining and seeing self as the dutiful child . . . You cannot blame spouses, siblings, those who "don't help enough", or even the person who you are trying to help, who has now become the monster of your nightmares. You have allowed yourself to become the slave. Many are furious at others for not allowing themselves to become enslaved too. Mysery loves company - sorry, but this is true.


You want Mom or Dad to die fast? Here is the recipe - do EVERYTHING for them! The best way to care for a disabled or elderly loved one is to require them to be responsibile for as much of their own care as possible. Before anyone jumps on me, I live this. I have lengthy experience with caring for elderly and disabled loved ones. When you do everything for them, require nothing of them, consider them the "poor pathetic invalid" you have taken away their self, and frequently their motivation, as well as their will to live.


Set boundries without guilt. Leave the drama at the door. This is not about proving love. It is about quality of life. Quality of life for both the elderly/disabled and for their caregiver. We ALL have limitations. Setting reasonable boundries is not bad behavior, rather it is the most loving and kind thing we can do for ourselves and our loved ones.


Peace.


17 Comments

I agree with the post. I'm not sure why there seems to be so many people who are doormats. It boggles the mind. I've always felt that openly stating your feelings and preferences is a great policy. Why allow someone to drive you crazy and in your own home? I don't get it.

I will say that in some cases you do have to do most things for people and make special exceptions for them. If they are totally disabled, immobile or have dementia, then you can't expect them to take care of their own needs or do chores around the house. There are always some exceptions. People with dementia can't be expected to play by the rules or maintain boundaries. They just aren't capable.
I agree Sunnygirl1.

"require them to be responsible for as much of their own care as possible".
POC, I agree with your very honest and direct statements but what about folks who really can't do anything for themselves due to dementia and physical limitations. This is a fact of life for many caregivers and needs to be acknowledged.
Oh....just re read previous posts. Got it.
Absolutely, amen!!!!! I had to set boundaries before mommy dearest even moved in and I am still in the process of setting new boundaries as she tries to maneuver around the old ones.Guilt is a silent killer, don't suffer in silence!!!!!
I'm going to take a middle of the road approach here and agree that boundaries need to be set, but I don't believe that it's inherently harmful to be gracious to parents and do little things that help them through their struggle.

Setting boundaries can be a delicate balance; it's not always easy to determine where the fine lines are.

But I don't think that boundary setting applies only to eldercare; it exists in workplaces and marriages as well.

And there are also the people who take pleasure in doing nice things for others; some of them are religious people, others are just good people and volunteer to do something to help someone in need.
Being gracious, doing nice things for, and helping people is wonderful, but has nothing to do with setting boundaries. Setting boundaries means knowing how to say no when others are infringing or demanding something another person either cannot or does not want to do. A good sign of poor boundaries is feelings of resentment, anger, and exhaustion while performing tasks for others while our own get left on the back burner. That is not "being nice"; it is self destructive (although perhaps well intended). An unhealthy person, whether physically or mentally, is not the best choice of one to charge with the care of others. "Physician heal thyself".
Even Jesus Christ himself went to the desert alone for 40 days, leaving his disciples behind.
I think the boundary issue can lead to a lot of dysfunction within the family. I have seen my fair share of it in my family. Sometimes I feel like I am an alien in my family. I seem to operate on a totally different code. lol

Some families like to keep feelings inside, don't speak up, let others take advantage, mooch, lie, steal, and generally make you miserable, but don't say anything, because you wouldn't want to make them feel bad! WHAT? lol If only we could make them feel bad, maybe they would act like a caring human being. I don't think it's possible to make some free loaders feel bad. Not even if you stayed up all night, you couldn't do it. lol

I think that the wrongdoer should feel bad, not me. I'm the good doer. Better that I speak up, say what I won't tolerate and then let the wrongdoer go off and get their act together. Oh well.....I guess it takes all kinds.
Well yes, JC left his disciples behind but as far as we know none had stage 4 dementia, were wearing depends and invalids. I'm a hard ass, anti whine guy also, but we have to deal with reality. I think it's twofold: boundaries plus maintaining your life and sanity when you are forced into difficult caregiver situations.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

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