ARTICLES / General / Dealing with Caregiver Guilt /
By Malika Brown, MSW, LSW
Make time for yourself – This is
easier said than done, but it’s a must! Even
if it’s 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 you’ve
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
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.