Our elderly parents go through a series of stages in life where they need more care and attention from us. It’s hard to see our parents get older, and there will be times that we will neglect their calls because we may be too busy. Your elderly parents may become more physically and cognitively challenged, causing you to end up hiring a caregiver because of your busy schedule. Sometimes, this may cause you to feel caregiver guilt. Here’s how you can overcome it:
1. Acknowledge the Guilty Feeling
As a caregiver, you need to admit the guilt you have as a first step in solving this problem. Suppressing or hiding a feeling will only make it worse. It will help reduce your stress when you acknowledge the emotions and let them pass.
2. Expectations Versus Reality
Expectations can sometimes cause unnecessary guilt, especially if they are unrealistic. You need to check the reality if you’re thinking of doing all your tasks perfectly without getting exhausted or resentful. Not all caregivers can do all their functions without error or keep up a good record for a long time. It would be wise not to expect too much from your capabilities or feel guilty that what you did for your seniors is not enough.
The many situations of caregiving can cause severe problems for the caregiver and to the senior. Stress and psychological problems may arise if you ignore your realities and expectations.
3. Do Not Compare
Some caregivers seem to be doing all the right tasks for their seniors. You might compare yourself with them for not doing a better job at hands-on care, finding resources, working with family, or coping with stress.
You need to snap out of that thought and stop comparing yourself with other caregivers. You might not know that they may be having the same struggles as you are. It would be best to stay honest and deal with the reality where nobody can be a perfect caregiver. Setting your achievable goals would be an ideal way of being a successful caregiver. It will keep you going and motivated by providing a satisfactory task for your seniors.
4. Think Positive
You can reduce your guilt by thinking positive thoughts and channel them with self-care techniques. It would help if you set regular breaks, write a journal, and use some relaxing techniques to boost your whole well-being.
5. Find Support
One of the best solutions to caregiver guilt is to find support from people who encountered the same situations. There are support groups that you can find where you can meet people who will guide you and give you advice on how to handle this. They understand the situation and can help you find the best solutions.
6. Mark Your Positive Accomplishments
Caregiver guilt makes you notice most of your failures due to your own high standards, and you may forget about all the good things that you accomplished for your seniors. You need to recognize and appreciate all your achievements, which will help you boost your self-respect, mood, and confidence.
Caregiver guilt can be a temporary issue, and you will overcome it with some help. It would also help if you would move forward and stay away from all the negativities. You may tell people your stories of your failures and successes, which is the best learning and self-development. Forgive yourself from your imperfections, and bounce back by avoiding all your mistakes. Guilt comes from feelings of inadequacy. Don’t be afraid to take a break. Thankfully, adult respite care offered at facilities like Longhouse can provide an opportunity for you to take a break and not worry about your parents.