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Releasing Feelings of Guilt Associated with Caregiver Stress

March 15th, 2016

Caregivers in Palm City FL

Caregivers in Palm City FLBeing a family caregiver for your elderly parent means many things. You are his support system, his encouragement, his protector, his advocate, his calendar, and so much more. While this can be an absolutely wonderful opportunity for you to spend quality time with your aging parent, it can also put you under a tremendous amount of stress. Caregiver stress is one of the most common issues of this type of role. Adult children who are responsible for caring for their aging parent, especially those who are in the sandwich generation caring also for their own children, are far more likely to experience stress than those who are not. Along with this stress comes physical, emotional, cognitive, and mental health and wel-being issues as well.

Even if you were prepared for this stress at the beginning of your care relationship, what you might not have been prepared for was the guilt. Many caregivers find themselves feeling guilty that they are experiencing stress, feeling like this means that they do not want to care for their parents or that they are failing in their care efforts. Recognizing this guilt and releasing yourself from it is an important step in protecting your health and well-being, and ensuring that you can be the best caregiver possible.
Use these tips to help you release feelings of guilt associated with caregiver stress:
• Acknowledge that you are still yourself. Taking on the role of being a family caregiver will change your life, but it does not have to define your life. When you take on this role you do not have to, and should not, give up who you are. When you start to feel guilty that you are stressed, take a moment to acknowledge that you are still an individual and give yourself permission to be yourself. This helps you to realize that you are more than just the care that you give your parent and that it is fine when you start to feel overwhelmed.
• Find help for your parent. Often guilt stems not just from the stress you feel, but also from the thought that you are not giving your parent to care that she deserves. Ease this by creating a network of help that can give your parent care and support when you need some time off. This can be friends and family, or a professional home care provider.
• Do not be manipulated. Guilt is not always something that just comes from inside. It is also possible that you are falling victim to the manipulation of your loved one. Your parent might not even realize that she is manipulating you, but her actions and words can increase your guilt. If you realize that she is using tactics such as saying that you never pay attention to her, that she is all alone, or that she will "just have to do it herself", take a step back and refuse to fall for it. Make sure that your parent has everything that she needs and then let it go. Remember that you deserve time for yourself and that you are doing your best.

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Palm City, FL, contact the caring staff at BrightStar Care of Jupiter. Call today (561) 741-1200.