Saint Paul, Minnesota
275 East 4th Street, Suite 345, Saint Paul, MN 55101
(651) 796-2540
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Managing Caregiver Guilt: 3 Tips for Family Caregivers

Comfort Keepers In-Home Care in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Being a caregiver for a family member or loved one can be a full-time job. Even if part-time or unofficially, it can feel as stressful as a full-time job. This is because caring for a loved one can be emotionally draining, leading to heightened feelings of stress. In short, because you care so much, you may find that being a family caregiver for a loved one is more stressful than any other job. 

Alongside feelings of stress can be feelings of inadequacy or guilt that you aren’t good enough to provide the right care or aren’t doing enough to help. This can lead to unintended resentment that you are giving so much time and energy to care for someone. Growing feelings of resentment are common among family caregivers and can lead to what is called “compassion fatigue”; when compounded by feelings of guilt it can start a downward spiral that is hard to break. 

So, if you feel resentful, tired, inadequate, or stressed, it may stem from feelings of guilt that you aren’t doing enough. We’ve identified three top tips to help you identify and cope with those feelings, take care of yourself and ultimately make yourself and your loved one happier. 

Recognize feelings of guilt

The first step to combatting feelings of guilt and resentment it can lead to is to fully recognize that you do feel guilty. Whether you feel guilty for seemingly not doing enough, not being able to afford full-time care, or feel guilt for not providing what you think is better care, you need to recognize that feeling guilty doesn’t change anything for the better. Guilt is a natural part of caring for someone and is not a reflection of your ability to provide care. Try saying your feelings out loud to really understand how you feel, or write them down to help articulate them. 

Look for a specific cause

Generally, feelings of guilt stem from a specific action or inaction. Do you feel guilty your loved one is alone  for a large part of the day? That they don’t get out to walk often enough or bath more regularly? That you can’t be there 24/7 or are taking time to do something just for you? Try to pinpoint the specific reason for your guilt and focus on addressing that one issue first. This can make it easier to identify areas where changes can be made if needed, and usually, by sorting one small problem, the feelings of guilt that plague your every action will disappear.  

Ask for help

Caring for a loved one can be hard and emotional. We understand that at Comfort Keepers and speak with families everyday who want to do all they can to help a love one. Asking for help is essential to both your health and the care of your loved one. Our team of compassionate caregivers have answered the call for help from many in the Twin Cities, through our respite care service

If you are interested in learning how Comfort Keepers can assist you and your loved one; call us, today, at (651) 372-8736