“Am I doing enough for my loved one?”
At some point, many caregivers find themselves thinking about this exact question. Guilt is a familiar feeling among caregivers, and frequently many suffer in silence. Many caregivers struggle with their responsibilities to their loved ones, and the demanding position can create negative emotions for the caregiver.
However, you’re not alone in your struggles. There are ways to work through the guilt and understand why you feel the way you do. Below, we’ll cover what caregiver guilt is, why it happens, and what you can do about it.
What Caregiver Guilt Is
Guilt refers to the feeling we have when we feel as if we’ve done something wrong. Caregiver guilt can be attributed to feelings like this, especially in circumstances where they feel they don’t do enough for their loved one. These feelings are often caused by:
- A loss of personal time
- Unresolved Issues
- Comparing yourself to others
- Knowing that placement in a nursing home or assisted living facility is inevitable
- Dealing with your own issues
3 Reasons Why Caregivers Feel Guilty
Fear of Providing Inadequate Care
Like in our introduction, most caregivers at one point or another question their abilities when caring for a client or loved one. This usually comes from a combination of feelings of inadequacy, feeling as if they don’t devote enough time, and from feelings that the care they provide just isn’t good enough. Particularly when the care recipient is a parent or spouse, these feelings can be greater.
Guilt from Neglecting Friends & Family
Family caregivers are often the first call when another family member or friend needs help. However, a caregiver’s day doesn’t leave much room for free time, let alone other people’s needs. While in any other circumstance the caregiver would more than likely help, the inability to can make them feel guilty for not doing enough. In addition, the lack of free time can sometimes cause strain on relationships, children, and family members because they cannot spend as much time with them.
Resentment Towards Their Loved One
Sometimes, caregivers start to be resentful of their loved ones due to the hold their caregiver duties have on their life. Caregiving is often an extremely time-consuming job, which leaves caregivers feeling drained, worn out, and ultimately feeling like they are missing out on life. The guilt comes from thinking they shouldn’t feel this way.
5 Tips for Dealing With Caregiver Guilt
In addition to our tips below, we recommend checking out our page on managing stress as a caregiver.
Acknowledge Your Feelings of Guilt
It’s important to remember that guilt is a normal feeling to have. It’s okay to feel this way, but also know these feelings won’t stay with you forever. Caregivers are human too, so it’s okay to make mistakes from time to time.
Identify the Cause of Your Guilt
After acknowledging your guilt, identifying the source is the next logical step to working through your guilt. One of the best ways to do this is by putting your thoughts and feelings into words.
Practice a Little Self-Care
While it may seem obvious, you need to take time for yourself. It may be difficult to separate yourself from your loved one, but working with a loved one so you can have a break is a great way to rejuvenate yourself. Smaller activities that only take up an hour or so of your time are great places to start. Watching a movie, going to a coffee shop, going for a walk, or going out to a support group meeting are all beneficial activities to do to practice some self-care.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help.
No matter your situation, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone in your struggles. It’s ok to ask for help when you need it. Family and friends are great places to start when asking for additional support here and there, and if you need more help, there are caregiver support groups.
Take Steps Toward Self-Improvement
As you take these tips into consideration, you should look to the future. Identify and work toward the values you identify with, and remember that you’re human. In addition, find resources, support networks, and take the time to learn ways to support yourself throughout your caregiving duties. Then, do it.
How Working with an In-Home Caregiving Agency Helps
When you work with an in-home caregiver agency like JEVS Care at Home, you’ll never be alone in your struggles. We connect each of our caregivers with one of our Client Care Managers to ensure everyone receives the help and support they need to be the best caregiver possible.
If you feel guilty in your current Caregiving position and need some additional support to provide top-quality care for your client or loved one, contact us today to learn more about switching over to the JEVS Care at Home family and receive the support you need.