While many of us are juggling a variety of balls just to get through each day, for caregivers, it may seem more like juggling flaming swords and knives! It’s extremely common for family caregivers to feel overwhelmed, which can lead to feelings of caregiver guilt when things don’t go exactly as we wish they would. Luckily there are ways to overcome caregiver guilt.
Guilt can display itself in many different ways. Perhaps you feel as though you’re not spending enough quality time with the senior you love. Or, the guilt may arise from considering a nursing home placement for your loved one. Maybe the senior’s behaviors from dementia have caused you to lose patience with him or her. Or it could be that you feel like you’re neglecting your children in some ways, as you devote so much time to caring for your elderly loved one.
When feelings of caregiver guilt sneaks up on you, try to keep this in mind: You’re doing your very best, and it is perfectly fine to reach out for help.
Let’s break that sentence down and consider what it really means. First: You’re doing your very best. You would likely agree, but is it something you really believe, deep inside? Remind yourself of these facts if you’re not sure how to overcome caregiver guilt:
- The work I’m doing is extremely important.
- My loved one appreciates me, even if he or she isn’t able to verbalize that appreciation.
- Mistakes are bound to happen.
- While I’m not able to control or change the past, I can control my reaction to it.
- I am only human, and I can forgive myself and learn from any mistakes made.
It may even help to print these affirmations and others and post them strategically throughout your home, such as on the refrigerator or the bathroom mirror. If there’s a certain statement that really speaks to you, schedule it as a reminder to pop up on your phone each day.
Second: It’s perfectly fine to ask for help, whether professional help from Senior HomeCare of Tucson, or assistance from other family members and friends. We’ve all heard from well-meaning friends and family, “I’m here if you need me to help in any way.” But do we ever accept that offer? Reach out and ask for specific help, such as, “Would you be willing to come spend some time with Mom for an hour or so once a week?” You’ll likely be pleasantly surprised to find out just how willing people are to pitch in; they just need to know what is needed.
If family members live at a distance, perhaps they can help with tasks that can be managed over the phone or online, such as researching senior resources, or the most cost-effective pharmacy for your loved one’s medications.
The ideal solution may be partnering with Senior HomeCare of Tucson for professional in-home care support. We’re here to help with:
- Planning and preparing meals
- Regular, ongoing respite care
- Transportation to fun outings, medical appointments, etc.
- Light housekeeping and laundry
- Specialized care for seniors with dementia
- And much more
At Senior HomeCare of Tucson, one of the premier caregiver agencies serving Tucson AZ and surrounding communities, we’re always here to walk beside you on your caregiving journey. Our highly-trained, experienced care professionals can help make sure your loved one receives the best possible care while you take much-needed time away for self-care, alleviating stress and replacing it with peace of mind. Contact us any time at 520-355-4787 to request a free in-home consultation to learn more about how we can help with excellent home in Catalina and the surrounding areas.