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How to Avoid Feelings of Guilt as a Family Caregiver

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When caregivers feel guilty, they become susceptible to stress, anxiety, depression, and other serious health issues. Caregivers need to avoid guilt to manage their duties more effectively. Here are some of the things you can do to minimize the guilt you may be experiencing.

Engage in Self-Gratitude

When you applaud yourself, you can reduce feelings of guilt. Each day, you can write down things you did for your loved one, such as preparing meals and helping with exercise. At the end of the week, you can read all the notes you have made and enhance your mood. Instead of paying attention to what you have done wrong as a caregiver, you can focus more on your accomplishments.

Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. Philadelphia, PA, respite care experts from Home Care Assistance are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities. 

Determine What You’re Willing to Do

If you feel you haven’t done enough for your loved one, make a commitment to do more and stick with it. Develop a schedule that works well for you, your loved one, and other family members. Set aside a time when you can check on your loved one, regardless if it is for a few hours each day or specific days each week. You should also call or video chat with your loved one on a daily basis to prevent caregiving-related guilt.

Take Time Off

Schedule regular breaks throughout the week, as well as extended time off. Do not feel guilty about putting yourself first. Instead, think of it as finding the right balance between your personal and professional life and your caregiving duties. You can use respite care while you are at work or while you are away doing things you enjoy. Hiring a professional caregiver can give you peace of mind knowing your loved one is receiving high-quality care.

If you are the primary caregiver for a senior family member and want additional assistance from a professional in-home caregiver, Philadelphia Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our caregivers are available for a few hours a day to help seniors with daily tasks, and we also offer 24-hour live-in care for those who need more extensive assistance. 

Join a Support Group

Family caregivers often hold their feelings inside and avoid talking about the negative aspects of caregiving. Bottling up negative emotions could cause guilt and depression. A caregiver support group is an ideal place to go when you want to talk openly and freely about your feelings. You will be surrounded by people who have gone through the same experiences as you. Instead of judging you, the other caregivers can be the support system you need. While at these group meetings, you can also receive caregiving tips and strategies that reduce feelings of guilt.

Find Out What Is Causing the Guilt

Some family caregivers are angry that their elderly loved one’s health continues to worsen instead of getting better. Other caregivers may resent family members for putting all of the responsibilities on them. If you can determine what is causing the guilt, you can address these issues instead of masking them. Learn how to say no more often, and ask other family members to help. The goal is to simplify your caregiving duties as much as possible so you can manage the negative emotions your guilt is masking, such as resentment and intimidation.

Caring for a senior loved one can be a challenging task, which can put caregivers at risk of a variety of negative emotions. Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Philadelphia, PA, home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your senior loved one, call us at (215) 645.4663 or (484) 643.4663 today.

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