Being a caregiver is a difficult job. If you’ve done it, you know what I’m talking about. Not only is it physically exhausting, but it’s mentally and emotionally too. There are some days you wonder how you’ll make it through another one, or there are some days you wonder if you should pass along the duties to someone else – maybe a professional. It’s all wrapped up in guilt, though. You may feel guilty you are so tired, don’t want to do it, or can’t do it. You feel guilty that someone else is stepping in, or that someone can do it better. This guilt can make you miserable, and life can quickly take a turn for the worst.
Don’t let your guilt take over your life. You don’t deserve that.
I’m not going to tell you that you have nothing to feel guilty about because that’s what everyone will tell you. What I will tell you is that you can feel guilty, but it has no purpose. Right now, ask yourself what your guilt is doing for you or your loved one. What is it accomplishing?
In most cases, people will answer that their guilt isn’t doing anything, but make them feel bad. They may say that their guilt keeps them from making certain decisions such as putting their senior loved one in a retirement home. They may say that the guilt keeps them moving forward as a caregiver because it makes them feel as though they have no other choice.
You don’t deserve to live with this guilt. You can move forward without guilt and stick with decisions that you’re proud of and are best for you and your loved one.
Consider this – when you feel guilty or feel as though you have to care for your loved one, what happens to the quality of care you’re giving? It’s likely it suffers. You are not caring for your loved one the way he/she deserves. Be honest with yourself… are you doing a good job or just doing the job?
With that realization, you can start to make decisions that are based on how to best care for your loved one. If that means having a nurse come to your loved one’s home, so you don’t have to go there as much, so be it. If that means your loved one has to move into a retirement home, then that’s okay too. As long as you are seeing that he/she is getting the care he/she deserves.
What If You Still Have Guilt
Be kind to yourself. You are a good person or you wouldn’t feel guilty. Talk to friends and family about how you’re feeling if you need to be sure you’re doing the right thing. Sometimes, all it takes is for someone to say, “You’re doing the right thing.”
If you don’t have anyone who understands you or has the time to really listen to the troubles you’re facing, contact Kendall Van Blarcom. He is a personal consultant who works with seniors and their caregivers. He listens, provides support, and guides people towards a better, happier life. Contact him here to schedule a session that will help you let go of the guilt.