6. Play it safe.
A relative asked me to remove her gallbladder.
My mentor had taught me, “A good surgeon knows when to operate; a great surgeon knows when not to operate.” Doctors do not treat their family members because their love can impair good judgment.
Wise people know their limits. Wise caregivers let the doctor be the doctor. Even if you are a healthcare professional, stay in the role of family member or friend.
No one has the relationship with your loved one that you do. You make unique contributions.
Caring for a loved one in pain is like throwing a Thanksgiving dinner. Many family caregivers think they have to do the whole thing–clean the house, shop, cook and serve. Instead you can throw a caregiving potluck. Let people contribute what’s easy for them to bring.
Sometimes you best serve someone in pain by knowing when to say no. If you are tired or stressed, your loved one may feel guilty for burdening you. If you are feeling anger or resentment with the person in pain, these feelings create distance rather than connection. Even though it’s hard to step away, you will do the greatest good by helping with an open heart.
Click here for Step 7.