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Caregiver’s Burden: Overcoming Guilt and Other Negative Emotions

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Caring for an aging and/or seriously ill loved undeniably drains us physically, emotionally, and mentally. We want nothing for them but the best quality of care, but for a number of reasons, we don’t always feel good even if we’re giving them what they need. As a result, we can’t help but become subject to the caregiver’s guilt.

If you are dealing with the same emotions, you are not alone; guilt and other negative emotions are commonly felt by family caregivers. However, it doesn’t mean that you should just endure the burden. Getting high-quality home health care for your loved one will help. With professionals to care for them 24/7, you can feel more secure that they’re being provided with everything they need.

But some people still feel guilty for entrusting their loved ones to a professional; hence, let’s discuss how to manage this guilt along with other difficult feelings associated with caregiving.

Signs of Caregiver Stress

Caregiver stress emerges from varying circumstances, but the signs are nearly identical for everyone. If you’ve been experiencing the following below, you’re highly likely suffering from this condition:

  • depression and anxiety
  • irritability
  • trouble sleeping
  • over-reacting to minor inconveniences
  • new or worsening health issues
  • trouble concentrating
  • feeling angry and resentful
  • drinking, smoking, stress eating
  • neglecting responsibilities
  • depriving yourself of leisurely activities

Depression and anxiety may stem from feeling inadequate for your loved one. Both are serious mental health problems, so take a breather when it starts to strike you. Keep your focus on the things you can control, and make plans for when you can’t be with your loved one.

Anger and resentment are sparked by varying scenarios. It could be your loved one lashing out at you on numerous occasions, making you feel unappreciated. If it gets too serious, you may be subject to caregiver abuse, but that isn’t a reason to give up on them.

Seniors and terminally ill people are also having a hard time, which makes them prone to violent outbursts, so consider this as another reason to get in-home healthcare for them. You may also need counseling and therapy if your mental health has greatly suffered.

Grief is another emotion you may deal with, not necessarily because they may pass away soon, but also because their conditions have taken away their vigor and energy that you used to love about them. Allow yourself to mourn what you’ve lost so you can let go of the pressure weighing you down.

Overcoming Guilt

When you’ve finally decided to avail in-home health care for your loved one, you may be washed over by guilt for asking for help. Your thoughts may convince you that you’ve let your loved one down, or that you gave up on them. Even if those aren’t true, they can be powerful enough to make us believe them.

Talking to your loved one about your guilt will help you in overcoming it. When you make your feelings known, you do not only relieve yourself of the load, but also begin to sort out your thoughts and realize that asking for help isn’t a sign of failure, but rather an opportunity for you to spend time with your loved one doing more enjoyable activities like walking with them, reminiscing good times, and taking them to nice places.

Even if you’re not yet at the point of feeling drained from caregiving, getting professional help is still essential. It would be better to obtain their services earlier, long before the seriousness of your loved one’s condition affects your own well-being.

Of course, their deteriorating health will always affect you, but it doesn’t have to make you sick as well. Entrusting them to in-home caregivers only proves that you love and care for them greatly; don’t let the guilt make you believe otherwise.

Villa Hope Content Team

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