Most of us are juggling a number of balls at any given time, and for caregivers, it often feels like they’re juggling knives and flaming swords on top of it. It’s only natural to become overwhelmed and experience feelings of guilt when you’re responsible for the care of a loved one, whether that person is a parent, spouse or other relative.
Guilt can be experienced in many forms. Maybe you feel like you’re spending too little time with your loved one. You may feel guilty about considering an assisted living facility or senior health care services for your loved one. You feel guilty because your loved one’s dementia-fueled repetitions made you snap. Maybe you’re feeling guilt about having less time for your own children as you meet the needs of your senior loved one.
It’s important to remember that you’re doing the best you can, and it’s perfectly fine to seek help.
Let’s take a closer look at that statement. First: You’re doing the best you can. You most likely agree, but do you believe it? When you start to feel guilty, remind yourself:
- I am doing the best I can.
- My loved one appreciates me, even if he or she can’t or won’t say so.
- Mistakes will happen.
- I can’t control or fix the past, but I can control how I feel about it.
- I am doing enough.
Try putting these affirmations on Post-Its and placing in several areas of the house, such as on the refrigerator or inside the medicine cabinet. If there’s a particular statement you really like, use the calendar app on your cell phone to schedule it as a daily reminder.
Second: It’s fine to seek assistance, whether it’s senior health care services through a New Hampshire home care agency like Live Free Home Health Care, or from relatives or friends. Let’s start with your loved one’s network of friends. So many people will say, “Let me know if there’s anything I can do.” But how often do we follow up and ask?
Friends probably do want to help, but may be holding back because they don’t want to step on your toes. Contact them and ask for specific assistance. “Would you be able to come over and spend time with Mom every Monday morning for an hour or so?” You’ll probably be pleasantly surprised at how willing people are to give you the help you need — they just need to be given a specific request.
Nearby siblings and other relatives might also just need to be given a specific task. Remember, if you can receive help with even a few small weekly tasks, you will feel less overwhelmed. Maybe Uncle Joe can take Dad to his weekly physical therapy session, or Cousin Amanda can accompany Grandma to church.
If siblings and other relatives live far away, ask them to handle tasks that can be done over the phone or online. Need to research a list of adult day care facilities? Look for the most affordable pharmacy for your parent’s prescriptions? Delegate those tasks.
You can also enlist the assistance of a trusted in-home care agency such as Live Free Home Health Care of New Hampton, NH. Live Free Home Health Care can assist with services such as:
- Meal planning and preparation
- Regular respite care
- Transportation to appointments, shopping and events
- Light housekeeping
- Specialized care for persons with dementia
- Connections to community resources and caregiver support groups
Click here for respite care resources that can help you overcome the guilt and get the assistance you and your loved one need.
Our New Hampshire home care agency can be a partner with you as you walk this caregiving journey with your loved one. Our professional home care staff can provide your loved one with companionship while assisting with daily tasks like hygiene, medication management, and laundry. Our kind, caring professionals will make sure your loved one gets the help he or she needs. Contact our care staff today to learn how we can best assist your family with our senior health care services.