Many family caregivers who are feeling high levels of guilt may not understand why the guilt is there. Having that understanding gives you a toehold to be able to put your feelings of guilt behind you.
4 Reasons Why You’re Feeling Guilty as a Family Caregiver
1. You Might Feel as If You’re Not Meeting Expectations
There are a lot of expectations in the life of a family caregiver. You’ve got your own expectations of what you thought caregiving would be, but then there are the expectations of other people. Your loved one may have had completely different expectations, causing you to feel as if you’ve disappointed her.
2. You Might Feel as If You’ve Done Something Wrong
Caregiving has a pretty steep learning curve, especially if your loved one has a lot of different issues for you to manage. There’s a lot of pressure involved in being a caregiver, so you might start to feel that you’re doing something wrong. That can inspire truckloads of guilt that really aren’t yours to bear.
3. You Might Not Want to Be a Caregiver
This one can cause all sorts of havoc because you might believe that you have to be your loved one’s caregiver. And yet, if you’re not feeling prepared to be a caregiver or you have other responsibilities, you can feel guilty about not wanting to be a caregiver. It’s important to evaluate your boundaries and if you truly can’t be your loved one’s caregiver, you may need to find another option.
4. You Might Feel as If You Should Be Dealing With the Problems Your Loved One Has
This type of guilt is common for spouses to feel because they want to swap places with their elderly loved ones. It’s almost a form of survivor’s guilt because your loved one is in a different position than you are. Why should your loved one have trouble caring for herself when you’re able to care for you and for her? The fact is, however, that you’re able to care for them, which can be a gift in itself.
Completely shedding any guilt that you’re feeling can take some time and some work on your part. Stick with it and allow your emotions to move at their own pace.
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