Caregiver Guilt: How to Avoid It

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Caring for a senior loved one can be an overwhelming job, and guilt is a common emotion many family caregivers experience. If the guilt continues, it could lead to burnout. However, there are some things you can do to avoid caregiver guilt. 

Set Realistic Goals 

You may feel guilty when you fail to meet your caregiving goals. To avoid guilt, set realistic targets and stick with them. You can set practical goals by analyzing the resources you have available as well as your own capabilities in terms of caregiving. You need to determine what is within your control. Accept your best, and find a balance between realistic targets and unrealistic goals. 

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Fairfield Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

Make Activities Easier 

Seeing your loved one face challenges while doing activities he or she enjoyed in the past could cause guilt. You may try to do everything possible to see your loved one take on the activities with ease and excitement. If he or she doesn’t, you may experience guilt and anger. However, you can customize the activities based on your loved one’s abilities, which can make it easier to continue doing things he or she enjoyed and help you avoid caregiver guilt. 

Take a Break

To prevent guilt and burnout, family caregivers should consider taking a break from their caregiving duties to regroup and recharge. There will be difficult times when you may lose your patience and become upset or angry. If you don’t control these emotions, you may say or do something you feel guilty about in the future. However, taking a break and resting or enjoying activities outside of caregiving can help you manage the negative emotions that lead to guilt. During your time off, get a massage, join the local gym, or catch up on your sleep. 

If you are the primary caregiver for a senior loved one in Fairfield, respite care is available when you need time away from your important caregiving duties. At Home Care Assistance, our respite caregivers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help your loved one manage everyday tasks in the comfort of home while you have the chance to take a much-needed break.

Reach Out to Your Loved One

Sometimes family caregivers live in another city and state and are unable to meet with their senior loved ones as often as they would like, which can lead to guilt. To prevent feelings of guilt, communicate with your loved one using video chat, social media, text, or email. Finding ways to show your loved one that you care can also prevent guilt.

Be Honest 

Your loved one will likely ask questions pertaining to his or her health, and you should tell the truth. When you are not honest, you may feel guilty. Instead of keeping secrets, find a good way to communicate the truth with your loved one. You can enlist the assistance of other family members as well as your loved one’s medical providers. Before you tell your loved one the truth, make sure to educate yourself on the situation and determine strategies to help him or her manage the illness, injury, or diagnosis. Having a plan in place can make it easier to tell the truth and avoid caregiver guilt.

Hiring a professional caregiver is one of the best ways to prevent guilt. An in-home care expert can provide high-quality care to your senior loved one, allowing you to take some time off to relax, de-stress, and stave off negative emotions. If you are the primary caregiver for a senior family member and want additional assistance from a professional elderly caregiver, Fairfield Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our caregivers are available for a few hours a day to help seniors with daily tasks, and we also offer 24-hour live-in care for those who need more extensive assistance. To create an in-home care plan for your aging loved one, give us a call at 203-955-1915 today.