Overcoming Caregiver Guilt: Finding Balance in Family Responsibilities

Most of us are attempting to juggle numerous obligations, and for family caregivers, it can feel comparable to juggling flaming swords and knives. It’s understandable for family members to become overloaded and to experience feelings of caregiver guilt when trying to provide the best care for a member of the family.

Guilt can develop in several forms. Maybe you’re feeling like you’re not spending enough quality time with your loved one. You may be feeling guilty about considering a nursing home for the senior. The guilt may come about after the senior’s dementia-driven repetitions caused you to snap. Or maybe you feel like you’re neglecting your own children in order to care for a senior family member.

Overcoming caregiver guilt can be a challenge. So, when caregiver guilt sets in, try to keep this statement at the front of your mind: You are doing the best you can, and it’s ok to request help.

Let’s take a closer look at that sentence. First: you are doing your best. You would likely agree, but do you really believe it? Reminding yourself about these truths if you’re doubtful may help:

  • I am doing the best that I can.
  • My loved one appreciates me, even if they can’t or refuse to admit it.
  • Mistakes are going to happen.
  • I cannot control or fix the past, but I can control how I feel about it.
  • I am doing enough.

It might even be helpful to place these and other affirmations on sticky notes all through the house, such as on the refrigerator or in the medicine cabinet. And if there’s a certain statement that really speaks to you, make use of the calendar app on your phone to set it as a daily reminder.

Second: It’s ok to ask for help, whether it’s professional help through Heaven at Home Senior Care, or help from other family members, your own personal friends, or your loved one’s friends.

Let’s begin with your loved one’s friends. We’ve all heard from well-meaning friends, “Just let me know what I can help you with.” But do we ever take them up on their offer? Your loved one’s friends in the community may refrain from helping so as not to step on your toes. Contact them and ask for specific help, such as, “Would you come visit with Dad every Monday for an hour or so?” You might be surprised to find how willing people are to help out — they just need to know what you need.

Siblings, as well as other family members who live in the area, may also simply need to be asked. Remember, if you’re able to get help for even a few small tasks, you will definitely feel less bogged down. Maybe Aunt Sally can take Mom to her weekly physical therapy appointment, or Cousin Fred can go with Grandma to church.

If family members live at a distance, ask them to help with to-dos that can be accomplished over the telephone or online, like researching activities for seniors or determining the most cost-effective drugstore for the senior’s prescription medications.

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

  • Planning and preparing healthy meals
  • Routine respite care
  • Transportation and accompaniment
  • Light housekeeping services and laundry
  • Companionship for socialization through conversations, hobbies/interests, exercise, and more
  • Specialized care for those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other chronic health conditions
  • And much more

Heaven at Home Senior Care is here to walk alongside you during your caregiving journey. Our professional home care team can meet a wide variety of needs specific to the challenges a senior is experiencing. Our caregiving professionals can make sure your loved one has everything needed, providing you with vital time away for self-care. Contact Heaven at Home Senior Care, the leading provider of elderly home care in Denton, Plano, Frisco, and throughout North Central Texas, at 940-380-0500 in Denton or 972-245-1515 in Dallas for more information.