Caregivers Corner: Loving with Boundaries

Michelle Wunsch

Many people, including myself, find it difficult to first draw a boundary and then to feel comfortable with doing so. I find it difficult to say no to anyone, even if I do not have time to do what they are asking of me, yet I know I am not truly able to be fully present.

Setting boundaries can be difficult, but if you start small and be mindful that this boundary is healthy for you and your loved one, often, setting boundaries improves both sides of the relationship. Remember to use “I” statements. For example, “I need to take time for me today because I am feeling exhausted, so I will not be able to drive you to the store.”

What boundary do you know in your heart that you need to draw? What gift will you be giving yourself (or those you love) when you draw it? Close your eyes and breathe slowly for two minutes. Picture yourself comfortable and confident in your choice and begin to draw the boundary that you feel you need to draw.

Start small. Draw a little boundary first, then expand it little by little as you get comfortable with it and enjoy the freedom it provides you. Every time I do this exercise, I am surprised that drawing boundaries not only benefits me, but all those involved.

Join us next month at the Cottonwood Caregiver Support group, as we will be discussing Boundaries with our loved ones.

Michelle Zipser, LMSW, AHPSW-C, with Cognitive Care and Counseling will be speaking to the group on Boundaries.

Please join us on the fourth Wednesday of every month from 4 to 6 p.m. for a Caregiver Education, Resource, and Support Session. Everyone is welcome. Please join us at Sun Lakes Cottonwood Country Club, at 25630 S. Brentwood Drive, in Sun Lakes, in the Computer Learning Center, Room 1. Space is limited, and reservations are required.

Please call Michelle Wunsch, MSN, RN, AHN-BC, HWNC-BC, to reserve your spot at Caregiving Together at 480-256-2092 (office) or 740-971-8298 (cell phone).