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Dealing with Caregiver Guilt

By Malika Brown, MSW, LSW

(Page 2 of 2)
  • Make time for yourself This is easier said than done, but its a must! Even if its just an hour or two a week, go out and have coffee with a friend, catch a movie, attend a caregiver support group, or just curl up and read a book. Taking time out helps you put your situation in better perspective.

  • Know that you are making the best decision for you and your loved one at that time This can be hard to accept, especially if youve made a promise to a loved on in the past that you can no longer keep. A change in a situation may force you to break that promise, but realize that the promise was made under different circumstances. You are making the best decision with new circumstances.

  • Deal with unresolved issues or accept them for what they are Many times, we may be taking care of someone who we resent, for many reasons. You can choose to try and resolve those feelings from the past to allow you to care for that person fairly. You can also choose to allow someone else to care for that person because you know you cannot rightfully do so. Either way, this is something you need to consider if your past with that person is an issue for you. Talk to a professional if necessary to make the best decision for both you and your loved one.

Reach out for support from family and friends; seek caregiver support groups or professional help to work through your feelings of guilt. Know that you are not alone in your caregiving journey and the help is available. Most of all, remember that you are doing the best that you can!

Malika Brown is a geriatric social worker with The Center for Positive Aging at Warren Hospital in Phillipsburg, NJ.

 

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