How to Avoid Guilt as a Caregiver

So many people are trying to juggle a number of assorted duties, and for family caregivers, it can feel akin to trying to juggle flaming swords and knives. It’s natural for family members to become overwhelmed and to experience guilt as a caregiver when trying to provide the best care for a loved one.

Guilt can manifest in a variety of forms. Maybe you’re feeling like you’re not spending enough quality time with the person in your care. You might be feeling guilty about thinking about a nursing home for the older person. The guilt may come about after the senior’s dementia-fueled repetitions caused you to snap. Or perhaps you feel like you’re not paying enough attention to your own children in order to care for your senior loved one.

When caregiver guilt sets in, try to keep this declaration at the front of your mind: You are doing your very best, and it’s ok to ask for help.

Let’s take a closer look at that sentence. First: you are doing your very best. You probably would agree, but do you truly believe it? Reminding yourself about these facts if you’re not sure may help:

  • I am doing the best that I can.
  • My loved one values me, even if they can’t or refuse to say so.
  • Mistakes will happen.
  • I can’t change or fix the past, but I can control my feelings about it.
  • I am doing enough.

It may even be helpful to place these and other affirmations on sticky notes all through the house, such as on the fridge or in the medicine cabinet. And if there is a certain statement that really inspires you, make use of the calendar app on your phone to set it as a daily reminder.

Second: It’s ok to ask for help, whether that means professional help from Carolina Hearts Home Care, or help from other members of the family, your own personal friends, or your loved one’s friends.

Let’s start with your loved one’s friends. We’ve all heard from well-meaning friends, Just let me know what I can help you with.” But do we ever follow through on their offer? Your older loved one’s friends in the neighborhood may hold back on helping so as not to step on your toes. Contact them and request specific help, like, “Would you come visit with Dad every Tuesday for about an hour?” You may be surprised to find how willing people are to pitch in — they just need to know what you need.

Siblings as well as other family members who live nearby may also just need to be asked. Remember, if you’re able to find help for even a few small tasks, you will undoubtedly feel less overwhelmed. Maybe Aunt Judy can take Mom to her weekly physical therapy appointment, or Cousin Alan can go with Grandma to church.

If family members live at a distance, ask them to assist with to-dos that can be completed over the telephone or online, such as researching activities for seniors, or determining the most cost-effective pharmacy for the older adult’s prescriptions.

The ideal solution, however, is partnering with Carolina Hearts Home Care for professional home care in Raeford and the surrounding area. We are available to help with services such as:

  • Meal planning/preparation
  • Regular respite care
  • Transportation to medical appointments and enjoyable outings
  • Light housekeeping services and laundry
  • Companionship for socialization through conversations, hobbies/interests, exercise, and more
  • Specialized care for seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other chronic health concerns
  • And much more

Carolina Hearts Home Care is here to walk with you during your caregiving journey. Our skilled home care experts can meet a wide array of needs specific to the challenges a senior is experiencing. Our caregiving professionals can help ensure your loved one has everything needed, providing you with necessary time away for self-care. Contact Carolina Hearts Home Care, the leading provider of elderly home care in Raeford and the surrounding communities, at 1-855-277-2005 for more information.