How can I leave my mom, dad, grandparent, aunt, uncle, spouse, or anyone I love in the care of someone else? This is a question you might ask yourself if you are the caregiver of someone with dementia. As the disease progresses, the responsibility of taking care of someone, no matter how much you love them, may seem unbearable. Relying on others to care for the people we love can be scary and intimidating. We also may find ourselves feeling guilty. This feeling of guilt can consume our minds and hearts if we do not deal with it properly. There are many ways to deal with these emotions. Below we list a few ways to help deal with guilt as a dementia caregiver.
Identify The Source Of Your Guilt
You need to stop and really think about why you have the feeling of guilt as a dementia caregiver. Is it because you gave up on the person you love? Do you have a sense of obligation that you feel you are not fulfilling? Are you geographically far away, so you don’t have the opportunity to visit? Pinpointing the true reason why you feel guilty can also help you move in the right direction to get rid of the guilt. Take some time to really think this through.
Don’t Sit In Your Guilt, Change It!
Some feelings of guilt for dementia caregivers are understandable, but it should not consume your life. You can make small adjustments in your life to decrease your feelings of guilt. It might start with more regular phone calls or visits. Drastic changes do not have to be your solution for making you feel better about the situation you are in.
Talk To Someone About It
In general, people tend to hold things in. We like to keep our feelings to ourselves and not talk to anyone about what is going on. Talking to someone we trust or even a professional is a great way to get everything out in the open. It can relieve stress and just make us feel better mentally when we are able to air out what we are thinking and feeling.
One important thing to remember is that we have to deal with the feelings that we have. Ignoring these feelings can lead to very negative outcomes. Some of the outcomes you may experience are a result of feeling too much guilt. Listed below are the consequences of not taking the necessary steps to deal with the feeling of guilt that we may have.
Affects Of Guilt On Dementia Caregivers
- Overthinking simple situations
- Feeling overwhelmed or stressed at all times
- Inability to find solutions
- Loss of meaningful relationships
- Loss of appetite
- Erratic behaviors
Allowing others to care for the ones we love in a vulnerable state can be scary. Not taking care of them ourselves can leave us feeling sad and guilty. At Orchard at Brookhaven, we are here to bring some peace of mind to you. Our staff works hard to make sure our residents are well taken care of and comfortable. We understand that this is a sensitive time in peoples’ lives and we want to make it as enjoyable as possible. To schedule a tour of our senior living community in Atlanta, please contact us.