When you were a child, your parents set boundaries. This set of rules helped keep relationships in place and helped maintain a parent/child relationship. Think back to your childhood. There were probably rules like no barging into the bedroom without knocking or no talking back.
As you became an adult, the boundaries may have shifted, but they didn’t go away. There are still boundaries you have with your parents. You may never dare go searching through your mom’s purse without asking, just as you’d expect the same of her. When you become a family caregiver, you do need to be able to provide care. The tasks you are now responsible for start to blur the boundaries. What do you do?
Research the Chronic Health Condition or Illness
Take time to research the health issue facing your mom. If it’s Alzheimer’s disease, read a lot of blogs and articles to get a better understanding of where your struggles will occur. Use the wisdom of others to help you navigate the situations you’re currently facing or may face in the future.
When your mom has a doctor’s visit, go with her. It can help both of you if you talk to the doctor and get advice on when to be pushy and when to back down.
Talk It Out
Sit down and talk to your mom. Go over the list of daily activities that she cannot do without help. Discuss how some of those things may require you to be a little pushy or demanding. For example, if she has to check her blood sugar levels three times a day, you can’t let her skip one of those checks. She cannot refuse.
If she does, she’s putting her own health at risk. She’s also putting you in the position of being considered a neglectful family caregiver. It’s not fair to either of you. She needs to learn that you are there to help and that sometimes will mean doing things that aren’t fun.
Know When to Give Up for an Hour or Two
Realize that sometimes, your mom is going to push back. You are going to have to judge the seriousness. If your mom needs an insulin injection now, you can’t wait. You may just have to force her to do it. If it’s something that isn’t as urgent, drop it. Wait until she’s in a better mood and approach that task again.
Sometimes, it’s best to walk away. You can be there to support your mom without being her main caregiver. Home care services can help with the difficult tasks and leave you and your mom time for quality moments together. Talk to our home care specialist about these services that help you return to the relationship you and your mom had.