These are just some of the many responses we received
from our Editorial of 10/20/11 -
I have been involved in the "care giving"
industry for over a decade. I think it is so
important for the primary caregiver to set
appropriate boundaries. I feel a good idea
would be, especially for a daughter/son in a
caregiving role for a parent/s, to set very clear
time availabilities. "Dad/Mom, I will be at
your home Mondays and Fridays from 9am to 11am."
That way, the parents know when they can count on
help, but also know their children clearly have
other obligations. Then stick to that
schedule. Obviously, you will be there if
there is any emergency or a need that can't wait,
but set a schedule and stick to it. The primary
caregiver has to be able to do this without feeling
guilty about the need to have a schedule. It is
very easy to be drawn into an "enabler" role.
For those who have loved ones who live with them,
this becomes more challenging; but the same rule
applies. It is good to encourage as much
independence as can safely be assumed by the one
needing care. Set reasonable boundaries.
Be kind, but firm and stick to the plan. If
they are asking you to do a task that they are able
to do, insist that they perform that task. If
you have been doing tasks for them that they can
safely do themselves, you may need to have a talk
first to explain why things are going to be
different. Physically, mentally and
emotionally, it is important on both sides that one
is as independent as can safely be, and the other is
preserving their strength and ability for the day
that they will need to assume more and more of the
I suggest using a calendar, scheduling time when the
caregiver can be reached or will spend time with the
person, and time out for the caregiver when he/she
can have uninterrupted time for needs, wants, and
I just read your newsletter and would like to have
the list of advice for the beck-and-call-givers.
My husband is in the early stages of vascular
dementia and gets disoriented sometimes. He can very
well do things himself, but he seems to feel more
secure if I am at his beck-and-call to cue him.
I am eager to hear ideas of how to help him be more
self-reliant as long as he can. (I am also
taking him for a re-evaluation so I know just what
is reasonable to expect of him.)