Saint Paul, Minnesota
275 East 4th Street, Suite 345, Saint Paul, MN 55101
(651) 796-2540
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Finding the Balance: Why Boundaries are Key in Caregiving

Comfort Keepers In-Home Care in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Finding the Balance: Why Boundaries are Key in Caregiving

Caregiving requires boundaries. Here are several reasons why caregivers should focus on establishing boundaries early in their journey. 

One of the more challenging aspects of being a caregiver is effectively setting boundaries so that you do not become too emotionally involved and not protect your own obligations and priorities. Without boundaries, a caregiver can fall into an unhealthy pattern of saying “yes” to all requests or overstepping their role and blurring the lines in their professional role. Establishing and enforcing mutual boundaries can also help a caregiver build a stronger relationship with the person they are supporting. 

 Caregivers should never feel guilty for setting boundaries and devoting time to self-care. In fact, “people pleasing” or guilt can be damaging to a caregiver’s health. Even though overcoming caregiver guilt can be challenging, it is essential for a caregiver to be successful in their role to deliver the quality of care they are able to provide.

Here are a few reasons why creating boundaries is key for caregivers

Boundaries Prevent Compassion Fatigue

There is absolutely nothing wrong with having compassion; caregiving is built on it. The problem begins when compassion negatively impacts decision-making. WebMD defines compassion fatigue as the physical, emotional, and psychological impact of helping others. It is a great characteristic to want to help others, but caregivers need to consider their own needs too. Creating and setting boundaries can help a caregiver maintain a positive relationship with the person in their care, while protecting their own health.  

Boundaries Make Caregiving Sustainable

Caregiving requires a lot of emotional energy and time. Establishing boundaries and using resources can help a caregiver provide compassionate care while avoiding burnout. There are only so many hours in the day, and prioritizing your responsibilities, with boundaries in mind, is crucial. A helpful approach is for caregivers to be realistic about what they can reasonably do, and to set time aside for themselves.

Creating boundaries to protect your time is worth it for caregivers. In fact, according to Everyday Health, self-care can help caregivers maintain their hygiene, nutrition, medical needs, and physiological health. 

For family caregivers in the Twin Cities, Comfort Keepers provides support in the form of respite care. Comfort Keepers can help caregivers set boundaries and will create an individualized care plan that supports their caregiving journey, and the independence of their loved one. 

Boundaries Create “Mutual” Respect

Many caregivers believe that setting boundaries and sometimes saying “no” may tarnish the relationship they have with the person they are supporting. In most cases, the opposite is true as increased communication leads to a stronger relationship. Good communication and boundaries can help a caregiver and the person they are supporting remain on the same page and understand breaking points. 

What Kind of Boundaries Should Caregivers Focus On?

When creating boundaries, caregivers should think of things that are “non-negotiable” and if implemented, would improve their overall caregiving experience. Caregivers should consider the following when developing their list of boundaries. 

  1. The number of days and hours each week a caregiver can commit

  2. Other obligations that take priority in a caregiver’s life, such as children, school, work, etc. 

  3. Areas of care that are uncomfortable for a caregiver, such as bathing, toileting, or driving 

  4. How a caregiver is spoken to, and interacted with. 


Setting and communicating boundaries is one of the first steps that a caregiver should take to establish good guidelines and expectations with the person they are supporting. Having boundaries in place can help a caregiver prevent compassion fatigue, give and gain respect, and make caregiving sustainable.

Comfort Keepers Twin Cities Helps Caregivers 

Being a caregiver for a family member or friend is challenging, even with boundaries in place. There is nothing wrong with asking for help and many family caregivers find value in working with an in-home care agency, like Comfort Keepers, to fill in gaps of care and supplement their efforts. 

To learn more about respite care and other ways Comfort Keepers Twin Cities can support your existing plan of care, call us today at (651) 796-2540.

Caregiving requires boundaries. Here are several reasons why caregivers should focus on establishing boundaries early in their journey.