Caregiver guilt is rarely talked about, yet it is one of the many emotions you may feel as you tend to a senior’s needs. While you may be doing everything you can to ensure your loved one’s comfort, it is normal to feel as though you have not done enough. However, it is important to know that caregiver guilt can be a sign that burnout is on the way. Here are some helpful tips that will provide you with a way to let go of the guilt and relax while tending to your loved one’s needs.
Implement Self-Care Strategies
Caring for an aging loved one can be one of the most rewarding experiences in your life, yet it is easy to become overwhelmed by a daily schedule that revolves around another person’s needs. Try to find at least a few minutes each day that can be dedicated to self-care. Journaling, exercise or a relaxing bath can all help to soothe frazzled emotions at the end of the day.
Join a Support Group
Unrealistic expectations are a common cause of caregiver guilt that can be eliminated by getting to know others who provide care to people with similar health conditions. If your elderly loved one needs specialty care for Alzheimer’s or another health issue that complicates caregiving, then seek out others who will understand your situation. Sharing your struggles with other caregivers or a counselor can give you a new perspective on what you should realistically be able to accomplish each day.
Plan for Longer Respites
Trying to de-stress in five minutes or less is not always effective enough to avoid caregiver burnout. For this reason, it is important to plan for longer respites that will provide you with enough time to focus on relaxation. Ask a family member or hire an in-home caregiver to take care of your loved one while you have a few hours or a day away to renew your spirit. Although you may feel guilty stepping away, you will come back refreshed and with a renewed outlook toward your responsibilities.
Providing long-term care to another person can generate many emotions. In addition to the rewarding feeling of providing comfort to someone in need, you may feel frustrated and guilty at times. By making sure to take care of your own needs, you will be able to alleviate the negative emotions while knowing you are doing your best to provide quality care for your aging loved one. Have other questions about respite care? Contact Home Care Assistance of Omaha today at 402-763-9140 and learn how our skilled and compassionate caregivers can provide you with the break you need to relax and recuperate.