What It Takes to Be a Caregiver

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What if I don`t want to be the caregiver?

It’s quite normal to feel overwhelmed, burdened, and even trapped while caregiving. If your family has had troubled relationships in the past, you may wonder “why me?” You may feel that the role was dumped on you without your consent. You may feel unprepared or even unable to manage the responsibilities and feelings that go with it. You may feel pressure from family members, friends, and members of the health care team to provide care, despite having little or no desire or ability to do so.

If you became a caregiver because of other people’s wishes, you need to think about how you feel about being pressured into caregiving. Mixed feelings at the onset of this role can lead to a greater sense of frustration later on. You should decide on your limits and make them known as soon as you can – before the demands of caregiving become a problem. This way you and the patient can get the help you need, and if you have to, make other plans for care. In situations like this, it might be helpful to find someone to help you with caregiving so that you know from the start that the role will be shared. It also may be better to find someone else to act as the primary (main) caregiver.

Last Medical Review: 02/14/2012
Last Revised: 03/23/2012