Managing Caregiver Guilt
One of the most frustrating things about being a caregiver is the guilt that most of us carry. What do we have to feel guilty about? We tend to feel guilty that we aren't doing enough to help the person we're caring for. We feel guilty that we sometimes resent the time we're spending as caregivers. We may feel guilty that we're not doing as much for the person we're caring for as other caregivers are doing. Sometimes we feel guilty about things we've done or said in the past that we can't take away now. We may feel guilty that we lose our tempers from time to time.
In essence, we're guilty about being human! None of us is perfect. All we can do is our best with what we have to work. Whether we're talking about our time, talent or treasure, each of us has only so much to give. Sometimes we're spent. We've done all we can do that day and it might not be enough.
The best way to manage the guilt without being eaten up by it is to acknowledge it. It's normal to feel guilty from time to time. Examine your feelings in the reality of the entire situation. Are you trying to be a good caregiver? Do you make sacrifices for the person you're caring for? Would you expect people to do more for you than you're doing for your loved one? Most caregivers are trying very hard to be the best caregivers they can be and they are sacrificing regularly and they wouldn't ask anyone else to make more sacrifices. The best way to manage guilt is to accept yourself and give yourself a pat on the back for all you are doing well and forgive yourself when it doesn't seem like it's enough.