Certain eldercare decisions can lead to feelings of guilt, especially if circumstances force one to go against earlier promises. Oftentimes, these feelings are undeserved. However, that does not stop people from experiencing guilt. Here are some strategies for coping with caregiver guilt.
- Acknowledge the guilt: Knowing there is an issue is the first step to fixing the issue.
- Make time for yourself: Even if it’s just an hour or two a week, take time to focus on yourself. Neglecting your personal needs will only make the emotional situation worse.
- See the bigger picture: A current situation may leave you stressed, know that it will not last forever. Look back at all you’ve done for your loved one and see how good of a job you’re doing.
- Know that you are making the best decisions you can at the time: One major source of guilt is having to go back on previous promises. Circumstances change and that may cause one to have to go back on a commitment. This is ok.
- Seek out support: Talk to your family and friends about feelings of guilt. You can also seek out caregiver support groups or professional therapists for help.
The important thing is to not ignore guilt. It will only fester if left unaddressed.