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. Honestly, we can’t think of an emotion that doesn’t come into play at some point during caregiving – and sometimes, a caregiver can run the whole gamut of emotions all within a day’s timeframe. Probably one of the heaviest feelings to manage, however, is caregiver guilt; feeling as though you should be doing more for your loved one and less for yourself.
If you’re struggling with feelings of caregiver guilt, here are 3 simple tips to keep 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 of caregiver guilt.
- Write about it. It can be very therapeutic to write down your thoughts and feelings in a journal, but it is also beneficial because you can then read back over your journal entries and learn from what you have written. Be sure to document ALL of your thoughts and feelings, but don’t forget the positive comments, in order to lift your spirits on the more tiresome days. Remind yourself that you are providing care where it matters most.
- Learn from other people. Just because well-meaning neighbors, family and friends may have a lot of tips on how you should or should not be feeling, it does not mean they have the best tips. The strongest advice comes from those who have been in your shoes. Search for a support group of other family caregivers. This can make a big difference, especially if their loved one shares a similar diagnosis.
To learn more about providing the most beneficial care where it matters most to your family, or to get questions answered about in-home respite care, contact Home Sweet Home In-Home Care. We provide home care services throughout the counties of Berrien, Cass, Kalamazoo and Van Buren in MI.