How to Avoid Caregiver Guilt with Aging Loved Ones

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Learn how to avoid caregiver guilt with these tips.

Many people are responsible for juggling a wide range of duties in their day-to-day lives, and for family caregivers, it can sometimes feel like juggling with flaming swords and knives. It’s natural for family members to become stressed out and to experience feelings of caregiver guilt when trying to provide the best care for a member of the family.

There is no one face to guilt. It can look many different ways. Maybe you’re feeling like you’re not spending enough time with the person you’re caring for. You may feel bad that you’re starting to consider nursing home options. The guilt can come about after your loved one’s dementia-driven repetitions caused you to snap. Or maybe you feel like you can’t give other family members the attention they deserve because you’re preoccupied with an aging loved one.

When caregiver guilt settles in, make an effort to keep this declaration in mind: You are doing your best, and it’s ok to request help.

Let’s look more closely at that sentence. First: you are doing your very best. You’re likely to agree, but do you really believe it? Reminding yourself about the following truths if you’re not sure may help:

  • My loved one values me, even if they can’t or refuse to say it out loud.
  • I am doing the best that I can.
  • I can’t change or fix the past, but I can control my feelings about it.
  • Mistakes are going to happen.
  • I am doing enough.

To remind yourself of these affirmations, try putting them on a sticky note and placing them around the house on places like your bathroom mirror or inside a kitchen cabinet. And if there’s a particular statement that really helps you, make use of the calendar app on your phone to set it as a daily reminder.

Second: It is ok to ask for help, whether it’s professional help from Endeavor In Home Care, or help from other family members, your own personal friends, or the senior’s friends.

Let’s start with your loved one’s friends. We’ve all heard from well-meaning friends, “Just let me know what I can do to help.” But that doesn’t always mean that the friend will actually follow through. An aging loved one’s friends may hesitate to help because they are being careful not to step on your toes. Contact them and ask for specific help, like, “Would you come visit with Dad every Friday for a couple of hours?” You may be surprised to see how much people would love to help out — they just need to know what you need.

Siblings as well as other family members living in the area may also simply need to be asked. Remember, even if you only bring in help for small chores or tasks, it can still make a great difference for you. Maybe Aunt Kim can take Mom to her weekly physical therapy appointment, or Cousin Fred can go with Grandpa to church.

If family members live at a distance, ask them to assist with tasks that can be taken care of over the phone or online, such as researching adult day care facilities, or figuring out the most cost-effective pharmacy for the senior’s medications.

The very best solution, however, is partnering with Endeavor In Home Care for customized in-home care assistance. We are here to help with services such as:

  • Routine respite care
  • Nutritious meal planning and preparation
  • Light housework and laundry
  • Transportation to medical appointments and enjoyable outings
  • Companionship for socialization through conversations, hobbies/interests, exercise, and more
  • Specialty care for seniors with dementia or other chronic health conditions
  • And much more

Endeavor In Home Care is here on the caregiver journey with you, and we can help you avoid feelings of caregiver guilt. Our home care experts can meet a wide variety of needs specific to the challenges a senior is facing. Our caregiving professionals can also help ensure your loved one has everything needed, providing you with essential time away for self-care. Contact Endeavor In Home Care, the leading provider of companion care in Phoenix and the surrounding communities, at 480-498-2324 for more information.