If there’s one thing every caregiver can relate to, it’s guilt. No matter how much time and energy we invest in caring for a senior loved one, somehow it never seems to be enough, leaving us wishing we could have done more, shown more kindness, been more patient. And if we don’t properly address the guilt, it can eat away at us, leaving us with feelings of regret and diminishing our self-esteem.
A typical scenario might look like this: you wake up, rush to get the kids ready for school, throw in a load of laundry and begin to get your senior loved one ready to start the day. You get her settled in for breakfast and mentally go through your overloaded to-do list for the day, when your loved one states that she would prefer her toast without butter today; would you mind fixing her another slice? Feeling agitated at this extra task, no matter how small, causes you to snap back at her with an unkind remark.
Although you instantly realize you’ve overreacted, the damage has been done. You notice a tear in your loved one’s eye, and immediately apologize and provide her with the unbuttered toast and a hug. And while the senior has moved on from the incident and is happily enjoying her breakfast, the feelings of remorse settle deeper into your core, making it hard to forgive yourself and let go of the mistake.
And yet letting go of caregiver guilt is so crucial, both for the caregiver herself and the senior for whom she’s providing care. Try these tips from Absolute Companion Care’s top experts in providing the home health care Towson families trust:
- Be realistic. Understand that we’re all human, and we all make mistakes. There’s no such thing as a perfect caregiver. Remind yourself of the many 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 yourself. It’s much easier to lose patience when we’re exhausted, and let’s face it: the life of a senior caregiver requires a lot of time and energy, leaving little opportunity for self-care. Make it a priority to carve out time for yourself to rest, relax and recharge with favorite activities, get plenty of sleep, and follow a healthy diet.
- Seek support. Whether through an online caregiver support group, a few close friends or family members, or a professional counselor, it’s important 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 ensure a healthy life balance and the best possible care for a senior loved one is by partnering with a professional home care agency like Absolute Companion Care. Our respite care services allow family caregivers to take a much needed break while knowing their loved one is receiving the highest quality care.
Let us walk beside you through your caregiving journey and discover a greater level of peace of mind and enjoyment in life! Contact Absolute Companion Care, the top providers of trusted home health care Towson families need, by calling 410-357-9640.