Many caregivers experience guilt. While this emotion is understandable, it isn’t productive. If the guilt continues, family caregivers need to find a positive way to manage their emotions. Here are five tips for avoiding caregiving-related guilt.
1. Set Reasonable Expectations
Sometimes caregivers experience guilt because their expectations are too high. If they forget to pick up a prescription or they burn dinner, it could lead them down a path of self-recrimination. Caregivers can’t be perfect, and if they feel immense guilt every time they make a small mistake, the feeling builds up. Instead of viewing each mistake as a reason you aren’t good enough, view mistakes as a learning opportunity. They’re a stepping stone, not a stumbling block.
If you’re the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality senior care, Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.
2. Recognize Signs of Burnout
Many caregivers work tirelessly, and they need to recognize when they’re taking on too much stress. If you feel perpetually tired, depressed, or angry, your current lifestyle isn’t sustainable. When burnout happens, don’t feel guilty. Instead, feel proud of what you’ve accomplished, and acknowledge that you need some extra help.
3. Take Care of Yourself
Many caregivers view time away from their loved ones as a sign they aren’t fulfilling their caregiving duties. This mindset is dangerous, as you can’t provide excellent care if you aren’t tending to your own emotional, mental, and physical needs. Instead of feeling guilty whenever you take time for yourself, remind yourself that time away provides the energy and peace of mind you need to provide effective care.
Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs live-in care, Mesa, AZ, Home Care Assistance can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home.
4. Check Negative Thoughts
Caregivers feel guilty for many reasons. When feelings of guilt start to swirl in your mind, stop and ask yourself what you would say to a friend in your situation. Oftentimes, people are more generous to their friends than they are to themselves. Instead of focusing on your guilt, whether it’s motivated by feelings of inadequacy or anger, put a stop to your inner monologue. Give yourself the pep talk you’d give your best friend. By realizing how harsh your negative thoughts are from an outside perspective, you can achieve a more positive self-image.
5. Find an Appropriate Emotional Outlet
When caregivers get frustrated, angry, or impatient with their senior loved ones, it often leads to feelings of guilt. Instead of dwelling on guilt, find a healthy way to manage your anger or frustration. Some people find solace in support groups, while others enjoy working out their aggression in exercise classes. Many caregivers simply need to talk about their emotions, whether it’s with supportive friends or therapists. Find an emotional outlet that works for you and mitigates the negative feelings that cause guilt in the first place.
Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Mesa home care service provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help. Call us at (480) 699-4899 to learn about our premier home care plans.