When you are a family member providing care for an aging or chronically ill loved one, you experience a broad range of emotions, challenges and rewards on a regular basis. In fact, very few (if any) emotions don’t come into play at one time or another during caregiving – and sometimes, the full spectrum of emotions can happen entirely in one day. Guilt, however, is perhaps one of the most difficult feelings to manage; feeling as though you should be doing more for your loved one and less for yourself.
If you’re trying to manage caregiver guilt, keep these 3 simple tips in mind:
- Avoid isolation. Articulating your feelings to a trustworthy friend, relative, or professional counselor is very important in order to see the situation from a more objective angle and to release the weight of all of those feelings.
- Write it down. Keeping track of your feelings and thoughts in a journal is therapeutic on its own, but also allows you to be able to review your writings at a later time and learn from them. Be sure to document ALL of your thoughts and feelings, and don’t forget the positive comments, in order to lift your spirits on the more tiresome days.
- Take sound advice. While kind but inexperienced friends and family may have a lot to say about how you should or should not be feeling, there is nothing better than the words of someone who truly understands what you are going through. Finding a support group of other family caregivers, particularly if their loved one shares a similar diagnosis, can make a world of difference.
To learn more about providing the most beneficial care at home for seniors, or to get questions answered about in-home respite care, contact CareWorks Health Services, providers of the home care services Laguna Woods families trust, at 949-859-4700.