Guilt is something that caregivers often want to get rid of forever and ever, especially once they’ve done some soul searching. But it doesn’t work like that, unfortunately, especially if the situation that created the guilt is still going strong. You can do a lot to reduce these feelings, though.
Be Gentle with Yourself
Caregiving is tough enough. If you’re also being less than kind to yourself, you’re going to feel the brunt of that very soon. You have got to learn to respond to yourself in a much kinder way than you are right now. This is especially true if your expectations of yourself are higher than the ones that you hold for other people in your life. Now is the time to rethink your approach.
Let Go of the “Shoulds”
Think about how you talk to yourself. If you’re using the word “should” quite a bit, that’s a bad sign. You need to address your vocabulary because that’s having a subtle influence on how you feel about what you’re able to do and how you’re doing it. You’re creating guilt for yourself that doesn’t have to be there.
Try to Achieve Balance Where You Can
Being a caregiver means that there is always going to be one aspect of your life that you feel isn’t getting the attention it needs. You might need to start approaching all of the aspects of your life, caregiving included, by looking at what it demands from you and what you can give to those tasks. Delegating may need to become a bigger part of your support plan.
You Can’t Fully Get Rid of It
As much as you want to get rid of guilt forever, it’s likely to come back. If you can accept that now, it’s easier to address it again when it shows back up. When you’re too tired, too hungry, or too lonely, you’re more likely to wind up back in a place where the guilt can fire itself back up. Focus on taking care of yourself to help reduce the likelihood of a return trip.
Caregiver guilt is something you’re going to have to manage at some point. The key is how you go about it. If you take the time to examine why you’re feeling the way you are, you can usually find an answer that helps you to address the root cause rather than just feeling awful.
Excerpt: If you’re feeling guilty now and then as a caregiver, you’re not alone.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Naples, FL, call the caring staff at Dial-a-Nurse today. Naples: (239) 434-8000. Ft. Myers: (239) 939-1228.
In 1995 he became Administrator of Dial-a-Nurse nursing agency, the oldest nursing agency in the Southwest Florida succeeding his mother who started the company 37 years ago. He is also President of Nevco, Inc., an educational healthcare training company begun in 1988.
Mr. Wolfendale has worked with the U.S. Department of Commerce on various Missions to improve the quality of life around the world by development of supportive healthcare programs. In 2005 he traveled with U.S. officials and addressed the Italian National Government assisting in the creation of Nurse Education mandates for that Country. In 2006 he was invited and spoke with the National Institutes of Continuing Education in Eastern Europe on healthcare education and developmental mandates, and most recently represented the United States at the European Union in Lake Balaton, Hungary in 2011. In 2014 he traveled with the U.S. Department of State to Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam in an effort to improve caregiver knowledge and training.
Mr. Wolfendale has worked with a number of non-profits in contributing and creating curriculum to improve the quality of life in third-world countries since 2001, and notably created a successful program in Odessa, India that has been modeled in other areas of the world. In his backyard, he has worked with local Goodwill Industries to provide curriculum and training to underserved individuals who have obtained employment as a result of educational training. He was the Congressional appointment to the Governor's purple ribbon task force in 2013, and has worked to educate caregivers in all aspects of Alzheimer's training.
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