Caregiving. Giving is a part of the word, and it can be easily assumed that a caregiver must also please the person they care for. Isn’t that part of the job? As a caregiver, you want to make the person or people you care for happy and make them feel loved. In many ways, caregivers worry less about themselves, and focus their energy on their patient. They dedicate themselves to their well-being, and isn’t pleasing them a part of that? Well, not always.
To be an effective caregiver, you also have to understand there are boundaries and pleasing the patient isn’t always right. Sometimes, they want something they shouldn’t have and it could affect their health. This is where it can get tricky. Someone with cancer may want a cigarette or a diabetic patient may want candy. You can appease them and risk their health, or assert control and protect them. However, what if they are terminal? Do you relinquish control a little knowing they want some things before they die? This is a decision you have to make, and you can discuss with the patient and the doctors.
What happens when the requests mean you lose more time needed for yourself? What if it interferes with your appointments, and your needs? Again, this is something you must weigh. You have to understand that if the request is not a necessity or a priority, you have to be okay with yourself saying no. You have to take care of other priorities, including yourself, and this may mean asserting your needs.
Caregiving is not easy, and there is give and take that can be even more difficult than the average relationship. It is hard to say no to someone who is in your care, especially when they are extremely ill or terminal, but you also have to consider other factors to make the right decision. Realize that you matter as well, and caregiving does not always mean you must please the patient.