July 8, 2016 by Dean Bellefeuille

There’s no emotional rollercoaster quite like the one ridden by family members providing care for an aging or chronically ill loved one. In fact, very few if any emotions don’t come into play at one time or another during caregiving – and sometimes, the full spectrum of emotions can happen entirely in one day. Probably one of the heaviest feelings to manage however, is guilt; feeling as though you should be doing more for your loved one and less for yourself.

If you are coping with caregiver guilt, here are 3 straightforward things to keep in mind:

  • Avoid isolation. Discussing those feelings with a trusted family member, friend, or counselor is particularly important in order to view the situation from an objective perspective and to stop feeling the need to carry those feelings alone.
  • Write about it. Keeping track of your feelings and thoughts in a journal is therapeutic on its own, but also allows you to be able to review your writings at a later time and learn from them. Write down each and every feeling, the good, bad and the ugly. But be sure to write down positive thoughts as well. These can really lift your spirits on more difficult days.
  • Take sound advice. While kind, but inexperienced friends and family may have a lot to say about how you should or should not be feeling, there is nothing better than the words of someone who truly understands what you are going through. Finding a support group of other family caregivers, particularly if their loved one shares a similar diagnosis, can make a world of difference.

To learn more about providing the most beneficial senior care for the older loved ones in your life, or to get questions answered about in-home respite care, call At Home Independent Living at 315-579-4663.