Coping with Caregiver Guilt

Caregivers in Markham: Coping with Caregiver Guilt

Caregivers in Markham: Coping with Caregiver Guilt

Being a family caregiver involves a lot of different feelings. They range from good to bad. Some days you might feel happy to be spending time with your senior parent and a sense of accomplishment for helping them stay healthy. Other days you may feel frustrated, angry, and overwhelmed by all that is required of you as a family caregiver. Here’s the thing – not one of those feelings is “wrong.” You have a right to all of your emotions and all of them are warranted. Being a caregiver is a tough job. However, if you don’t deal with your emotions, they could have a negative effect on your health and your relationships.

One of the feelings you may often experience as a caregiver is guilt. You may feel guilty for a number of reasons, including:

  • Not being able to spend more time with your senior parent.
  • Not being able to spend more time with your spouse and children.
  • Not being able to do something as well as you would like to.
  • Not having been able to prevent an injury or illness.
  • Having been impatient with your parent.
  • Feeling like you want your job as a caregiver to end.
  • Thinking of your own needs.

If you’re dealing with caregiver guilt, here are some tips for helping you cope.

Recognize That Your Feelings are Normal

Instead of beating yourself up for having negative thoughts and feelings about being a caregiver, give yourself a break and remember that your feelings are normal. It’s very common for caregivers to be frustrated by having to care for a senior parent, and many even resent it. Feeling angry about being a caregiver does not mean that you do not love your parent.

Forgive Yourself

You will never be a perfect caregiver. You will make mistakes, so accept that fact and move on. Instead of dwelling on the mistakes you make, focus on the numerous good things you do for your parent on a regular basis. If you think about it, you do far more things right than you do wrong!

Take Care of Yourself

There is nothing wrong with looking after your own needs and the needs of your family. Taking a break from caregiving can help you to come back with a fresh attitude. There is no need to feel guilty about spending time doing something you enjoy.

Join a Support Group

If you have any doubt that what you are feeling is normal, join a support group for caregivers. You’ll find a group of people who are going through the same thing you are. Talking about your feelings with people who understand can help you deal with them. And, you may just make some new friends or learn tips that make caregiving easier!

Get Help

If caregiving has become overwhelming, ask others for help. Reach out to family members and friends who may be able to take on some of the caregiving duties. You can also hire in-home caregivers through an agency to come to your parent’s home to help. Doing so will give you some time for yourself and there will be no need to feel guilty since your parent will be in good hands and well-taken care of.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring a professional caregiver in Markham, contact the caring professionals at Staff Relief Health Care 24/7 at 905.709.1767.


About Susan Di Michele

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