Many of us are attempting to juggle a variety of obligations, and for family caregivers, it can feel similar to juggling flaming swords and knives. It’s understandable for family members to become overwhelmed and to struggle while coping with caregiver guilt when wanting to provide the best care possible.
Guilt can materialize in multiple forms. Maybe you’re feeling like you’re not spending enough quality time with a senior loved one. You might be feeling guilty about considering a nursing home for the older person. The guilt may arise after a loved one’s dementia-fueled 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.
When coping with caregiver guilt, make an effort to keep this statement in mind: You are doing your best, and it’s ok to request help.
Let’s look closer at that sentence. First: you are doing your very best. You probably would agree, but do you truly believe it? Reminding yourself about these truths if you’re not sure might help:
- I am doing the best that I can.
- My loved one appreciates me, even if they can’t or refuse to say so.
- Mistakes are going to happen.
- I can’t change 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 throughout the house, such as on the fridge or in the medicine cabinet. And if there is a certain statement that really helps you, utilize 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 Heaven at Home Senior Care, or help from other family members, your own friends, or the senior’s friends.
Let’s begin with the older adult’s friends. We’ve all heard from well-intentioned friends, “Just let me know what I can help with,” but do we ever take them up on their offer? Your loved one’s friends in the neighborhood may refrain from helping in order to avoid stepping on your toes. Contact them and request specific help, like, “Would you come visit with Dad every Tuesday for a couple of hours?” You might be surprised to discover how willing people are to help — once they find out what you need.
Siblings, as well as other family members who live close by, may also simply need to be asked. Keep in mind, if you’re able to get help for even a couple of small chores, you will surely feel less weighed down. Maybe Aunt Edna can take Mom to her weekly physical therapy appointment, or Cousin Fred can go with Grandpa to church.
If family members live farther away, ask them to help with tasks that can be accomplished over the telephone or online, like researching adult day care facilities or determining the most cost-effective drug store for the senior’s prescriptions.
- Planning and preparing healthy meals
- Routine respite care
- Transportation to appointments, shopping, and fun outings
- Light housekeeping and laundry
- Engaging companionship
- Specialty care for seniors diagnosed with dementia or other chronic health conditions
- And more
Heaven at Home Senior Care is here to walk alongside you during your caregiving journey. Our trained and experienced home care team can meet a variety of needs specific to the challenges a senior is experiencing. Our caregiving professionals can help ensure your loved one is well cared for, providing you with necessary time away for self-care. Contact Heaven at Home Senior Care, the top-rated provider of home care assistance in Denton and the surrounding communities, at (940) 380-0500 for more information.