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Caregiver Guilt: What It Is and How to Manage It

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Many adults around the country care for aging parents.  A lot of these people end up feeling some sort of caregiver guilt.  What is caregiver guilt?  It is when a caregiver feels guilty about the way they are providing senior care to their loved ones.  It happens when the caregiver feels like they aren’t doing enough.  Since many caregivers are sacrificing a lot in order to help their family members, why do they still feel guilty?  Here are some reasons why, along with ways to manage caregiver guilt.

Why might a caregiver feel guilty?

There are a variety of reasons someone may feel guilty when providing senior care to a relative.  Maybe the caregiver resents how much time they are spending helping their loved one when they could be doing something else.  Everyone has their own issues, so it’s hard to deal with someone else’s day-to-day problems on top of your own.  People often feel guilty when they realize they have started to resent someone they care deeply about.  Another cause of caregiver guilt is past issues that were never resolved.  This is especially common if the patient is a parent.  Caregivers often compare themselves to others, which can lead to them feeling like they aren’t doing enough.

One of the most common causes of caregiver guilt is the feeling that placing a loved one in a nursing home is inevitable.  It makes sense that someone providing senior home care would feel bad about having to move their family member to a facility, even if that ends up being the best decision for everyone involved.

How can caregivers manage their guilt?

So now that you know what caregiver guilt is and where it comes from, what can you do about it?  There are many different ways to keep your caregiver guilt from running wild.  The first and perhaps most important is to realize if you are feeling it in the first place.  Be honest with yourself; pretending to not feel guilty may just lead to you feeling more guilty.  It is also important to be kind to yourself.  No one can be in a great mood every single day.  Have realistic expectations for what you will be able to accomplish.

Looking for what is causing the guilt is another good thing to do.  Once you figure out why you are feeling the way you are, you can take action steps to feel differently.  Maybe this means asking for help.  You should never feel guilty for asking for help, whether that be from another family member or senior care professional.  No one can do everything on their own, and continuing to overwork yourself can lead to burnout.  Even something as simple as talking to a friend about what you’re going through can be incredibly helpful.  Be sure you are still taking time for you.

A Better Solution – Professional Senior Home Care

If being a caregiver is becoming too much for you to handle, don’t feel guilty.  Providing senior care is a job in and of itself, so trying to balance that with your career and home life can be challenging.  Consider reaching out to professionals.  A Better Solution in Home Care provides personalized senior home care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  They work with their clients to find the best fit for the whole family, whether that is in-home personal care, homemaker services, or placement services.  A Better Solution has highly trained, professional staff that can meet all of your loved one’s needs.  Call +1 (877) 585-9011 for more information.

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