Many caregivers have high, and often unfair, expectations for themselves.
These high expectations can lead to a significant amount of stress and guilt, which can then reduce a caregiver’s quality of life. It can also make it more difficult to care for your loved one.
Devinity Hospice, a prominent provider of hospice palliative care in Humble, Texas, has years of experience caring for hospice patients and their families. In this article, we share some useful tips to diminish the guilt that caregiving often causes.
- Recognize Your Feelings of Guilt
Unrecognized guilt can eat at you – do not allow your guilt to be some hazy, ever-present something. Identify it. Name it. Also, identify your other feelings. If you are angry, be angry – but know exactly why you are feeling angry or guilty. Once you acknowledge and put a name to your feelings, it can be easier to manage.
- Look for the Cause of the Guilt
Identify the discrepancy between the “ideal caregiver” and the “real you.” What are you really hoping to achieve as a caregiver? Do you have unmet needs? Are there some things that you should change so that your actions align with your values? Once you identify the problem, take the necessary steps to alleviate it. While you might not be able to completely remove or change the source of your guilt, you can take action to reduce it. If you need the help of a caregiver from a provider of home health and professional hospice care in Texas, ask for it. If you need some time for yourself every now and then, make the necessary arrangements so someone can watch over your loved one as you go out.
- Maintain Balance
We have numerous people and relationships in our lives – with our parents, siblings, spouses, children, and friends. While being a caregiver can take up a majority of your time, do not let it consume you. Learn to maintain balance between all of your responsibilities and relationships. It is important to maintain social connections. Take the time to hang out with your other family members and friends – not only to maintain your relationships, but also to give yourself some much-needed break. Maintaining this balance is essential to your mental and emotional health.
- Forgive Yourself
Learn to forgive yourself. Remind yourself that you cannot be the “perfect caregiver” 24/7. You will make mistakes. You will stumble and struggle through your duties. You will get frustrated and exhausted. There are going to be days when everything becomes too much and you are at your wit’s end. Learn to forgive yourself during these moments. Understand your limits and accept what you can and cannot do.
The Bottom Line
Feelings of guilt are common, but you must not let it consume you. Acknowledge it and learn to forgive yourself. Learn to balance your responsibilities so you can maintain balance in your life.