If you’re a caregiver, you likely know this emotion all too well: guilt. Regardless of how much energy and time we invest in providing care for a senior loved one, somehow it never seems to be enough, leaving us thinking we could have done more, shown more kindness and compassion, been more patient. And if we don’t appropriately tackle the guilt, it can eat away at us, leaving us with feelings of remorse and diminishing our self-esteem.
A typical circumstance might look like this: you wake up, dash to get the kids ready and off to school, toss in a load of laundry and begin to get your senior loved one ready to begin the day. You get her settled in for breakfast and mentally review your enormous to-do list for the day, when your loved one states that she would prefer pancakes today instead of the toast and cereal you’ve fixed; would that be a problem? Feeling irritated at this additional task, regardless of how small, causes you to snap back at her with an unkind remark.
While you quickly realize your overreaction, the harm has been done. You observe a tear in your loved one’s eye, and immediately apologize and provide her with the requested breakfast change and a hug. And though your loved one has moved on from the incident and is enjoying her breakfast, the feelings of guilt settle deeper into your core, making it hard to forgive yourself and forget about the mistake.
And yet letting go of caregiver guilt is so important, both for the caregiver herself and the senior for whom she’s providing care. Try these suggestions from Morning Glory Home Care’s experts in providing the home health care Granite City IL families trust:
- Stay realistic. Recognize that we’re all human, and so it’s natural for us all to make mistakes. There is no such thing as a perfect caregiver. Remind yourself of the countless positive ways you’re enhancing quality of life for your senior loved one, and then forgive yourself and learn from your mistakes.
- Take care of you. It’s so much easier to lose patience when we’re worn out, and let’s face it: the life of a senior caregiver requires a lot of time and energy, leaving little chance for self-care. Make it a priority to carve out time for yourself to rest, relax and recharge with enjoyable activities, get plenty of sleep, and follow a healthy diet.
- Seek out support. Whether through an online caregiver support group, a couple of close friends or family members, or a professional counselor, it’s crucial for caregivers to find an outlet to share their feelings with those who will understand and provide needed support.
One of the best ways to achieve a healthy life balance and the best possible care for a senior loved one is by partnering with a professional home care agency like Morning Glory Home Care. Our respite care services allow family members a much needed break while having the assurance that their loved one is receiving the highest quality care.
Let us walk beside you through your senior care journey and realize a greater level of peace of mind and enjoyment in life! Contact Morning Glory Home Care, the top providers of trusted home health care Granite City IL families need, by calling 618-667-8400.