My grandmother told me not to make promises that I could not keep. At the time I made a promise, I had every intention of fulfilling it. Some I did. Some I didn’t. Unless I could control all the elements in the universe – sickness, aging, death, and everything in between, I learned not to make promises! They were tools that could not be controlled by mere mortals! My best phrase now is, “I’ll do my best.” That I can handle!
This entry is for caregivers who made a promise to take care of someone years before the care was needed. Now that the time has come for care, the situation has changed. Hope this helps alleviate some of the guilt you feel because of that. Think about these questions:
– When was the promise made?
– What changed in your life or the other person’s life since then?
– What modifications can you make to come close to keeping the promise?
Once you sort out these questions, you can explain to your caregivee the reasons why things have to be readjusted. Perhaps your income changed or you moved from a spacious house to a small apartment. Let’s face it, some things changed for the caregivee too, or they wouldn’t be in need of help. Discuss those changes and formulate a new plan. People hold you to promises because they are afraid, not insensitive. The person you love is fearful of what will happen to them without your support. Assure them that you will be there for them. The picture may look a bit different than what you imagined years ago, but you will take care of them as best you can…even if that means getting help from others.