While Caring for a 94 Year Old Mom Revealed
Dealing with Caregiver Guilt Donna Harris writes in from Troy, OH I live with my 94-year-old mother. I have been caring for her for 10 plus years. Some days are better than others.
I have learned so much through Alzheimer Assoc and online caregiver groups. I want to pass on any tips or information I can to help the insanity that other adult children might face.
I have 3 adult children and 4 grandchildren that I barely spent any time with for fear of guilt.
Well through the years and learning from other adult children... I am now strong enough to say NO and take care of myself. I do spend time with my kids and grand babies now with no guilt.
Sure I am not a perfect caregiver but I sure am better now than I was a year ago.
I want to pass on anything and everything that could help others. Strength, hope and experience is what I have learned through this journey.
I do have a blog that I share different ideas and tips, so please visit at and also visit my FB Fanpage
I wish you well ~
by Donna G Harris (Troy, Ohio USA)
Thank you so much for sharing your caregiving journey with us. I really appreciate your mention of the emotion of guilt.
Guilt is such a negative and counter productive in many cases.
Family care givers may not realize that guilt is the cause of many poor decisions. By that I mean, many care givers make decisions to do something that they really do not want to do, but feel that they must. They do not take everything into consideration. Guilt clouds their judgment.
The result is, the care giver... (also known as the care partner) develops feelings of anger, frustration, resentment and rage. This causes chronic stress for the care partner. There are strategies to overcome caregiver guilt.
Studies show that chronic stress causes health problems. I cannot tell you how many times I come across the family care partner that is admitted to the hospital... or that has developed a serious illness.
Family care partners really need to take all parties into account. And that includes themselves. Making a decision out of guilt will only end up with negative consequences.
More on Caregiver Guilt
Caregiver guilt is a feeling of inadequacy or stress family caregivers experience when they are unable to fulfill the expectations they have placed on themselves. This guilt can be due to feelings of being overwhelmed, not providing enough care, and/or not being able to balance caring for family members with other responsibilities such as work.
It's important that family caregivers take time to recognize their feelings of guilt and find ways to cope with them. Taking breaks throughout the day and engaging in self-care activities can help family members manage these overwhelming emotions. Additionally, it is also helpful for family members to understand their limits and set realistic expectations for themselves. Connecting with others who understand what you're going through can also be beneficial in managing caregiver guilt. Remember that family caregivers are not alone, and there is help and support available.
Taking time to recognize the impact family caregivers have on those they love goes a long way in managing caregiver guilt. Reflecting on the positive contributions family members make each day can be beneficial in alleviating this burden of guilt. Acknowledge yourself for all you do, and give yourself credit when it comes to caring for those who depend on you!
Importance of self care :
Taking care of your own needs is just as important as taking care of family members. Self-care activities can help family caregivers manage their caregiver guilt and reduce stress. This could include exercising, meditating, journaling, or simply taking a break from the demands of family caregiving responsibilities. These activities can provide family members with the respite they need to recharge and cope with any challenging emotions they are experiencing.
Family caregivers should remember that taking time for themselves is not only beneficial for them but also those they are caring for. Taking breaks throughout the day provides family members with an opportunity to reset and come back to their duties with a fresh perspective and renewed energy. Finding balance between family responsibilities and self-care is essential to managing caregiver guilt.
Recognizing family caregivers’ efforts, connecting with other family members and engaging in self-care activities are key tools family members can use to manage their feelings of guilt. Remember that family caregivers are not alone and there is help available when needed. Taking time for yourself will make you a better family caregiver in the long run!
Donna, I hope you will continue to keep us updated on your journey as a care partner. I would love to hear from you.
Diane Carbo RN
Thank You Diane Carbo
by: Donna G Harris Thank you so much for allowing me the honor of posting on your website. My passion is to help as many caregivers as possible to take care of themselves in order to take GOOD care of their elderly family or friend. I wish you well ~
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