If used as a guide to help shape positive and constructive behavior, guilt can be a healthy emotion. When caregivers feel guilty about things over which they have no control, however, guilt can quickly dissolve into negative feelings of shame, frustration and resentment. As a caregiver for your aging family member, it’s important to recognize that guilt is one of the most common emotions experienced by caregivers and that there are healthy ways to let go of caregiver guilt.
First it is important to understand the cycle of guilt. The seeds of guilt are often sown at the moment that you accept your role as a caregiver. Without even realizing it, caregivers can set unrealistic goals for themselves. You may feel that’s it’s your duty to provide perfect care around the clock in spite of all of your other responsibilities. When you fail to live up to these superhuman expectations, guilt can leave you feeling angry and resentful. These emotions only lead to deeper feelings of guilt, and the cycle continues. Need help with caregiving? Click here for information about professional, reliable and compassionate caregivers in Phoenix.
Then, comes the more difficult part: letting go. Letting go of the misconception that you must be all things to everyone in your life is the first step towards breaking the cycle of guilt. You may be the primary caregiver in your loved one’s life, but that doesn’t mean that you have to go it alone. You are part of a large caregiving community that can help you with tips, coping strategies and practical help with your family member’s care. Hourly in-home care in Phoenix is a great option that can give you the break that you need to keep negative emotions at bay.
When you redefine your role as a caregiver to one who understands that no single person can provide “perfect” care, your feelings of guilt will begin to diminish. Getting help sets you up for success, not failure and reaching out to others for assistance only demonstrates your commitment to providing your loved one with the best level of compassionate care.
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