6 reasons to stop caregiver guilt from setting in!
Many of us have walked that dreadful path of feeling both ways about our caregiving. Sometimes even being too harsh on ourselves and exaggerating to the point of sheer self blame for our loved one’s prolonged sickness.
Here are a few insightful things we’re about to discuss which will not only alleviate your uncalled for guilt but might even help you cope better with a more holistic and pragmatic approach.
First and foremost let’s understand caring for elders is tough. Hands down!! And even more harder and challenging for the ones dealing with cognitive declines like dementia, Parkinson’s, or Alzheimer’s.
It’s more likely in these situations to feel busted and tired. Some common feelings are undue stress, feeling stagnation in life, hypertension, anxiety, phobias regarding safety hazards like you might wonder if your elder left the gas on or tried to walk away from the door unassisted at night, fear of accidents/falls which is a common one for most caregivers, life alert concern causing you worry while you live remotely or went out to get groceries to find a serious ER situation for your elder back at home.
Accept your demanding family care role.
All these events can be very demanding, causing feelings of frustration, misconceptions, and unrealistic expectations of caregiving.
You’re draining your energy over something that’s not happened yet!
Here are few tips to overcome inhibitions and find a happy space both for yourself and your elder.
Improve your own quality of life, disengage and rewind, relax and do some mental training like mindfulness meditation, or set positive affirmations for yourself to know that you’re doing your best.
You are doing a lot as a caregiver
The first most common cause of guilt is the feeling of not doing enough. Other caregivers are better at it. Or your senior isn’t improving much.
It’s easy to figure that most accomplished caregivers dealing with challenging elders are all sorted and can figure out things better.
But the truth is their life isn’t fun either, it might be surprisingly more agonizing than you’d think. So it’s important not to compare, not to be too judgemental or set up unrealistic expectations of miracles, having faith in yourself is important as a caregiver but set acceptance and practicality as your approach.
There’s no perfection in this world. Perfection doesn’t exist. So don’t beat yourself up for some that’s too far fetching. We can all learn and grow and it’s never too late to get a helping hand in caregiving especially if you’re new to it.
The other shocking sense of self blame arises post many elder cognitive diagnoses like I didn’t love or treat my elder well enough and now they have this? Caregivers or family members often feel they didn’t spend enough time when they were well or they failed to recognize the early onset of symptoms that delayed their treatment. There’s no point in crying over spilled milk. None can predict future medical events.
more optimistic about your elders.
So it’s better to move on with the idea of improving your elders and current conditions and ensure them a healthy life in future onwards. And it’s always quite natural to not know silent symptoms beforehand and you can always try to rectify them to the extent possible.
Having pessimistic thoughts about elders is a common guilt of many caregivers. Sometimes from feelings of dislike, anger, tantrums, rage, and fallout can occur. Caregiving to some might feel obligatory or a burden. With thoughts of elder abandonment and feelings of embarrassment.
Write about your caregiving journey
You can feel much better by confiding to someone you trust, who understands your situation, or join other caregiver communities and forums, where you’ll find many to interact and share with, suffering with your similar sense of concern or caregiver guilt.
Or if you’re too private about your feelings you can start maintaining a journal penning down your caregiving journey, thoughts and experiences. It’ll sure be a priceless piece to look back on later in life. You’ll never regret having it all written down, even as a fond memory. Trust us!
Control your emotions….helps your loved one.
The worst thing while taking care of special elders can be irritability, impatience, and anger. You need to calm down and express your language of love. Remember your loved one isn’t well and might instigate anger or rage with paranoia or false accusations. They’re mostly hallucinating or making things up that aren’t rational, so you shouldn’t self blame for such uncontrollable incidents if they occur while caregiving.
Remember that you love them for who they are, not what they have become!
Even if you lost your temper, sit back and think over, next time avoid interactions if you feel you can’t control your temper. Try to divert your attention somewhere else, bring up positive talk, or have unwinding sessions each night to make everything comfortable.
BrioCare can help your elder unwind by playing meditation music or their favorite EP to fill them with all cuddles, warmth, and nostalgia.
You should be wanting more time for yourself but feel a sense of guilt. Remote caregiving can be challenging but it’s not impossible.
Experience rewarding caregiving with BrioCare
BrioCare is an advanced senior care app that helps you monitor your loved ones special needs even remotely.
Using Alexa for seniors, it’s a breakthrough in elderly care technology and can help with everything from setting appointments to medications reminders and even tell your elders to drink enough water or tell it’s bedtime!
It also features emergency life alerts which send you an instant notification if there’s something that needs intervention. So now don’t feel guilty to find your own freedom and help your elders independently age in place. Yes, it’s possible and with no guilt afterward!