So many people are attempting to juggle multiple obligations, and for family caregivers, it can feel like juggling flaming swords and knives. It’s natural for family members to become overloaded and to experience feelings of caregiver guilt when wanting to provide the best care for a loved one.
Caregiver guilt can manifest in various forms. Maybe you are feeling like you’re not spending enough time with a senior loved one. You might be feeling guilty about contemplating a nursing home for the senior. The guilt may arise after your loved one’s dementia-fueled repetitions caused you to snap. Or maybe you feel like you’re not paying enough attention to your own children in order to care for a senior family member.
When caregiver guilt sets in, make an attempt to keep this declaration at the front of your mind: You are doing your very best, and it’s ok to ask for help.
Let’s take a closer look at that sentence. First: you are doing your very best. You probably would agree, but do you really believe it? Reminding yourself about the following facts if you’re unsure may help:
- I am doing the best that I can.
- My loved one appreciates me, even if they can’t or refuse to say it out loud.
- Mistakes are likely to happen.
- I can’t change or correct the past, but I can control my feelings about it.
- I am doing enough.
It may even be helpful to place these and other affirmations on sticky notes all through the house, such as on the fridge or in the medicine cabinet. And if there’s a specific statement that really inspires you, utilize the calendar app on your phone to set it as a daily reminder.
Second: It’s ok to ask for help, whether it’s professional help from Advanced Home Health Care, a provider of Burlington elder care and care in nearby areas, or help from other family members, your own personal friends, or the senior’s friends.
Let’s begin with the older adult’s friends. We’ve all heard from well-intentioned friends, “Just let me know what I can help with.” But do we ever follow through on their offer? Your loved one’s friends in the neighborhood may refrain from helping so as not to step on your toes. Contact them and request specific help, such as, “Would you come visit with Mom every Thursday for about an hour?” You may be surprised to find how willing people are to pitch in — they simply need to find out what you need.
Siblings as well as other family members living close by may also just need to be asked. Keep in mind, if you’re able to get help for even a few small chores, you will surely feel less bogged down. Maybe Aunt Sally can take Mom to her weekly physical therapy appointment, or Cousin Fred can go with Grandpa to church.
If family members live at a considerable distance, ask them to assist with to-dos that can be accomplished over the telephone or online, such as researching adult day care facilities, or figuring out the most cost-effective drugstore for the older adult’s prescriptions.
The very best solution, however, is partnering with Advanced Home Health Care for customized in-home care assistance. We are here to help with services such as:
- Nutritious meal planning and preparation
- Regular respite care
- Transportation to medical appointments and enjoyable outings
- Light housekeeping and laundry
- Engaging companionship
- Specialized care for those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or other chronic health conditions
- And much more
Advanced Home Health Care is here to walk with you during your caregiving journey. Our skilled home care experts can meet a wide range of needs specific to the challenges a senior is facing. Our caregiving professionals can make sure your loved one is well cared for, providing you with vital time away for self-care. Contact Advanced Home Health Care, the leading provider of Burlington elder care, at 319.753.6270 for more information. Visit our Service Area page for a full list of the communities we serve.