As a caregiver, have you ever had thoughts like: “Things would have been different if I had made a different decision” or “I should have been there more, done more”?
This is caregiver guilt, a type of guilt that sets in when you feel that your best isn’t good enough.
It is not unusual for family members providing direct care to question and replay past decisions, thinking there is more you could have done.
The fact is that many caregivers, especially those caring for loved ones with memory diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia, did not choose to be on this journey; they were responding to the growing needs of someone they love by giving more and more of themselves.
They are filled with good intentions but lack skills and training, trying their best to keep up with doctor appointments and online searches for the latest in-home remedies and tips. Sometimes they feel that they have no choice in the matter as there is nobody else to fill that role. They may be slowly pulled into the direct caregiver role without fully realizing it.
As time passes, caregiving grows more demanding and requires them to sacrifice even more of themselves and their resources. They can become so consumed by caregiving that they see little else outside of the daily tasks and requirements of increasing needs. They become disconnected, and it becomes difficult to reach out for help or see additional solutions.
But there are healthcare solutions that are cost-effective, family-oriented, and will equip family caregivers with the support they need to not only provide the best care possible but allow them adequate space to live their own lives. A simple click on True Care Home Care could point you in the right direction.
So how do you prevent caregiver guilt or overcome it once it starts?
Here are 3 suggestions that may help:Attend a support group – Support groups let you know that you are not alone as groups of others are dealing with similar issues. Attending a support group gives you time away from caregiving, and if you cannot leave your loved one’s side a virtual group can be a good alternative. You can also learn about new methods and resources you may have never considered and a support group can lessen the feelings of guilt because it normalizes your experience as a caregiver.
Consider getting an HHA – Hiring help seems like a contradiction to combating guilt, but it is key to using every available resource. If Medicaid covers your loved one, you can contact True Care for a certified home health aide who comes equipped and ready to attend to your loved one as frequently as needed. Your specially assigned HHA can be a source of relief for you, allowing you some time to attend to your errands or just take a breather. Adding an HHA to your loved one’s care profile can give you another set of dedicated, knowledgeable caring hands.
Sign up for CDPAP – Deciding to leave your job to care for a loved one can be a burden. However, by enrolling in CDPAP, New York’s Consumer Directed Personal Assistant Program, primary caregivers can be compensated for providing care. CDPAP caregivers will be paid for every hour spent providing essential care to your relative and reduce the stress of having to choose between earning an income and taking care of family duties. True Care makes this process much easier and it is easy to start the enrollment process for CDPAP with True Care.
Family caregivers should know they are not alone, and there is an entire industry dedicated to helping them meet their loved one’s needs and resources at every corner to assist with costs. The first step should be to reach out to True Care Home Care and see how best we can help you restore the balance in your caregiving journey.