Are You Facing Caregiver Guilt?

Caregivers in Elizabeth NJ

Whether you made the conscious decision to become a family caregiver for your aging parent or simply came to terms with the reality that that is how your relationship developed over time, you like took some time to think about what those efforts mean for your life. You likely expected the changes in your schedule and your time that came along with these efforts. You may have even expected the stress that most caregivers experience at challenging times in their care journey. What you likely did not expect, however, was guilt.

Caregiver guilt is something that many family caregivers experience throughout their care journeys with their aging parent. This guilt can come from many different sources, including:

  • Your siblings. It is easy to assume that if you have several siblings, or even just one, that your role as a caregiver will be much smoother. It seems that these siblings would take on some of the responsibility for your parent’s care and relieve you of some of the pressure. In many situations, however, this is not the case. Your siblings may not do their part to care for your parent, but then may put extra pressure on you and frequently tell you that you are not doing enough for them. This can make you feel guilty not just because they make you feel as though you are “failing” your parent, but also that you were seeking help from your siblings
  • Your partner. It can be a difficult adjustment when you have to start taking on care responsibilities for your aging parent, and your other loved ones might not handle it well. Your partner may feel that you are taking time away from them or that you are not managing your role in your own home because of the efforts you are putting forth for your parent.
  • Your parent. Your sibling may express that you are not spending enough time with them or that you are handling their care needs in ways that they dislike. They may suggest that you are doing more for other people than for them, or that you do not really want to help them and are only doing it because you “have to”
  • Yourself. Many people have the need to feel as though they are doing everything “perfectly” and that they should be able to handle every challenge that comes to them without difficulty. When it comes to being a caregiver in the sandwich generation, however, this is largely impractical. You are taking on many responsibilities and you should not feel as though you have to do them all yourself, or that you should do them without any kind of stress.

Use these tips to help you manage your caregiver guilt and move forward as the highest quality caregiver you can be for your loved one:

  • Know that you are doing your best and the best for your loved one
  • Embrace that you are one person and that you have limitations just like everyone else
  • Remind yourself that you are an individual with your own life that is extricable from your parent, and that you have the right to live that life
  • Ask for, and accept, help without qualms
  • Give yourself permission to feel the natural course of emotions and experiences, including stress,
    anxiety, and exhaustion.

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver in Elizabeth, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care of New Brunswick today. Call (732) 607-8870.