Most of us are juggling a number of things at any given time, and for caregivers, it often feels like they’re juggling knives and flaming swords on top of it. It’s normal to experience feelings of being overwhelmed and guilty with all the responsibilities involved with caring for a loved one, whether that person is your spouse, your parent, or someone else.
Guilt can come in many forms. Maybe you feel like you’re spending too little time with your loved one. You may experience guilt if you’re thinking about an assisted living facility for your loved one. You feel guilty because your loved one’s dementia-fueled repetitions made you snap. Or you could feel guilty about neglecting your own children’s needs in order to care for your senior loved one.
It’s important to remember that you’re doing the best you can, and it’s perfectly fine to seek help.
Let’s take a closer look at that statement. First: You’re doing the best you can. You probably agree, but do you believe it? When the guilt starts to creep in, remind yourself:
- I am doing the best I can.
- My loved one appreciates me, even if he or she can’t or won’t say so.
- Mistakes will happen.
- I can’t control or fix the past, but I can control how I feel about it.
- I am doing enough.
Think about putting these affirmations on Post-Its around the house, maybe on the refrigerator or inside the medicine cabinet. If there’s a particular statement you really like, use the calendar app on your cell phone to schedule it as a daily reminder.
Second: It’s perfectly acceptable to seek help, whether through California home care services such as Visiting Angels, or from relatives, friends, or your loved one’s friends.
Let’s begin with your loved one’s network of friends. So often, people will say, “Let me know if there’s anything I can do.” But how often do we take them up on that offer? Your mother’s friends from her card club probably do want to help, but they might be holding back because they don’t want to step on your toes. Contact them and ask for specific assistance. “Could you come visit with Mom every Wednesday for an hour?” You’ll likely be surprised at how willing people are to pitch in — they just need to know what you need.
Nearby siblings and other relatives might also just need to be given a specific task. Remember, if you can receive help for even a few small weekly tasks, you will feel less overwhelmed. Maybe Aunt Susie is able to take Dad to his weekly exercise class, or Cousin Mike can bring Grandma with him to church.
If siblings and other relatives live far away, ask them to handle tasks that can be done over the phone or online. Need someone to look into adult day care facility options? Looking for the most affordable pharmacy option for your parent’s prescriptions? Delegate those tasks.
Or even better, request the help of a professional home care agency such as Visiting Angels. Our California home care services include help with the following, and much more:
- Meal planning and preparation
- Regular respite care
- Transportation to appointments, shopping and events
- Light housekeeping
- Specialized care for persons with dementia
- Connections to community resources and caregiver support groups
Visiting Angels can be a partner with you as you walk this caregiving journey with your loved one. Our fully trained and experienced home care staff can provide your loved one with companionship while assisting with daily tasks like hygiene, medication management, and laundry. Our kind, caring professionals will make sure your loved one gets the help he or she needs. Just give us a call at (408) 735-0977 or (510)-284-0000 to share your concerns with us and learn more about how we can help.