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Overcoming Caregiver Guilt When Caring for an Aging Parent

Do you ever feel as if you can’t keep up with the demands of caring for an aging loved one? As a caregiver, your long list of responsibilities include everything from monitoring daily medication schedules and making doctors appointments, to the more emotional necessities, such as ensuring your aging parent isn’t lonely or feeling neglected. 

Juggling these tasks, plus keeping up with your own to-do list, can manifest into caregiver guilt. Some signs you are suffering from caregiver guilt are feeling bad for not being able to do enough and feeling bad because your loved one’s condition is not improving, despite your best efforts. Guilt and self-criticism are common among caregivers.  

According to The National Council on Aging, more than 43.5 million care for someone 50+ years of age. On average, these American’s spend 20.4 hours per week providing care. Those statistics are jarring, it is no wonder most caregivers report struggling with feelings of frustration. It is important to remember that you’re not alone in these feelings. As AARP puts it, “Don’t aim for guilt-free caregiving. The discrepancy between what you think you should do and what you’re willing and able to do may always cause some guilt.”

That being said, there are several ways to overcome excessive feelings of caregiver guilt. Here are a few ways to establish healthy boundaries while providing excellent care.  

Establish A Communication Routine 

Caregivers are often bombarded by calls and requests from aging loved ones. It is only natural to pick up the call every time, or drop everything to be by their side. To avoid being overtaxed by constant communication to address run-of-the-mill issues, establish a communication routine. On days when you can’t be there in-person, set specific times to catch up throughout the day. A check-in in the morning and the evening is enough to feel connected without being burnt out. Ask your loved one to make a list of the things that want to discuss so you can have an open and distraction-free conversation at those set times. 

Hire At-Home Care 

There is a lot of responsibility when it comes to caring for an aging loved one. There is no shame in asking for help. Elder Home Care’s team of qualified providers can assist with everything from hygiene, meal preparation, and medication supervision to companionship and pet care. The empathic and knowledgable staff know that at-home care is much more than providing a service, it is about building a meaningful connection. 

If you are unable to constantly spend time with your aging loved ones, you can hire a true companion for them. At Elder Home Care, companions happy to spend time with your elderly loved ones. They can perform light housekeeping tasks and even help your loved one write an email. At-home care is a great way to take some of the pressure off while maintaining peace-of-mind. You can learn more by calling Elder Home Care at 516-405-5910 to speak with a provider who will answer all of your questions. 

Join A Support Group

There are many reasons to join a caregiver support group. Connecting with others in similar situations will remind you that you’re not alone in your feelings and can help curb caregiver guilt. Finding a support system is as easy as conducting a Google search. 

Caregiver guilt is a normal part of caring for an elderly loved one. Remember to give yourself grace and not to be afraid to ask for expert help. Together with Elder Home Care, we’ll reach your goals of providing comprehensive and compassionate care. 

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