Home Caregiver Guilt Feelings

It is unfortunate that feelings of guilt are suffered by many home caregivers.  We have witnessed the expressed guilt feelings of many clients over the years. Who have done their best to care for a loved one at home. Yet, despite their best efforts, they second guess everything.  They feel that they could have done a better job for most everything they do.

Family caregivers are among the most selfless people on the face of the earth. The do what they do out of love for their parent or spouse – obviously not for the money. Caregiving is a very difficult task.  Caregivers can needlessly feel guilty and sometimes despondent because they often second-guess their actions. This is because caregivers are sons, daughters and spouses. Who dearly love their family member who is declining before their very eyes.  They desperately want to help. But don’t have the confidence to know whether their action at any given moment is the best thing that can be done for their loved one.  Your parent or spouse’s well-being (and sometimes their very life) is in your hands. You do the best that you can. But realize that a bad decision can negatively impact the health, well-being and happiness of the one you are trying to help.

Cindy and I have witnessed this journey, not only professionally as recounted by our clients, but personally. We both have walked the lonely caregiver path as we attempted to provide care for our declining mothers. Also, we understand personally the guilt and second-guessing that occurs when wondering whether we did the right thing for our parent today.

We found that the best way to deal with guilt feelings or second-guessing is to talk to a friend, professional service provider or another caregiver.  If the person you are talking to has walked the same path themselves, that discussion is of great value.  A few tips and a word or encouragement from someone who has walked (or is walking) in your shoes goes a long way to helping you feel better about what you are doing.

Our purpose here is to create a community of friends who are walking the same walk.  We want to create a group of people with like experiences who can provide practical tips. As to what worked for them and a word of encouragement to each other as you progress down your caregiver journey.

Please help us kick off this discussion. By sharing what you do to handle your guilt feelings while caring for a loved one at home.  Please share your thoughts with this community by typing your comments below.