There’s no emotional rollercoaster quite like the one ridden by family members providing care for an aging or chronically ill loved one. In our experience, there’s hardly an emotion that does NOT come into play at some point during caregiving – and sometimes, the majority of those emotions can happen all within the span of a day! Perhaps one of the most difficult feelings to manage, however, is 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. Talking about your feelings with a trusted friend, family member, or professional counselor is crucial to see the situation from an objective perspective and to release the burden of carrying those feelings alone.
- Write about it. Keeping track of your thoughts and feelings in a journal is therapeutic in and of itself, but also provides the benefit of being able to read back over your writings and learn from your experiences. Be sure to note ALL of your feelings, including positive comments, to lift your spirits on more difficult days.
- Take sound advice. While well-meaning friends and family may have lots of input on how you should or should not be feeling, nothing beats the advice of someone who’s walked a mile in your shoes. Finding a support group of other family caregivers, particularly if their loved one shares a similar diagnosis, can make a world of difference.
For more resources on providing the best possible care for your senior loved one, or to explore the option of in-home respite care, call on North River Home Care at 781.659.1366.