It takes a significant commitment to be the caretaker for an elderly parent or loved one. Caregiving may have an impact on your money, health and other relationships — or it might just be too emotionally or physically demanding. It does not mean you’re being selfish or insensitive if you need a break or feel you’re sacrificing your life to care for an older loved one. Know how to communicate with your family when you are no longer able to care for an aging adult and need to negotiate new arrangements for caregiving.
How To Inform Your Family That You’ve Had Enough of Caring for Your Aging Parents
How do you tell your family that you won’t be able to continue as your parents’ primary caregiver? And, perhaps more crucially, how do you deal with your own mental pain and guilt?
Others don’t always agree with or understand our choices, but we all have limits to what we can accomplish, and we shouldn’t feel guilty if we’ve done the best we can and can’t carry on.
Follow these steps when talking to your family about a change in caregiving services.
Reflect on How Your Actions Will Affect Other People
Your decision to discontinue caring for your aging parents will almost certainly affect the rest of your family. They may dislike your decisions and worry that, as a result, they will have to dedicate more time and effort to care.
There will undoubtedly be complicated family dynamics. Old difficulties between siblings may reappear. And, at first, any form of change will be challenging for everyone.
During family gatherings, it’s a good idea to ask, “”What is most significant to you about your parents’ life between today and the day they pass away?” This question may assist individuals in concentrating on the parent rather than perceived defects or family background. It’s also a chance to cooperate and generate fresh ideas.
Try To Be Aware of Your Emotions
Do you think you’re being criticized for not being a good enough child or sibling or for not sticking to your original caregiving plan? Is it possible that someone else could have done a better job? Are you continually being chastised for your caregiving decisions?
If this is the case, practice self-compassion and kindness toward yourself. When caregivers establish limits or adjust the rules, they frequently experience exhaustion, inadequacy or resentment.
Keep in mind that other people have been in your position, and there are methods to communicate with them. Consider attending an in-person or online caregiver support group.
Evaluate Your Decisions
When you decide to cease being a caretaker for a loved one, it’s natural to feel guilty, but there are different perspectives to consider.
Perhaps your loved one needs more assistance than you are unable to offer. If that’s the case, moving to a memory care or assisted living facility could be the most compassionate thing you can do.
Carefully and Compassionately Communicate
It’s helpful to use inclusive language when explaining why something has to change. Make it plain to your siblings that you won’t tell them what to do or force them to do anything they don’t want to do.
Hiring a neutral third party with clinical skills to organize or attend the meeting makes sense for certain families. A geriatric care manager, older mediator or family therapist may be able to connect you to a skilled professional who may help you have a fruitful dialogue.