Letting Go of Guilt and Getting Help With Caregiving
If you can’t remember the last time you got a full night of sleep, had a nice relaxing meal or you have more to-do lists than you can possible manage, this article might just be for you!
Caregiving is a stressful job and if you run yourself ragged all the time, you may find yourself becoming resentful. It’s a very common problem and you are certainly not alone if you feel this way. It’s just not possible for caregiving to be done alone while staying happy and healthy. You will need help along the way, although you may find it difficult to reach out.
Why it can be hard asking for help
Asking for outside help is something most caregivers won’t do. They may resist out of guilt or fear. They may even feel like a failure for admitting they need help. We would rather do it all on our own, our way. But it’s so important that you realize you will need help at times and there can be more than one way to do something.
Feelings of fear and guilt
- You might feel guilty for wanting to reach out for assistance.
- You worry constantly that your older loved one won’t get the same level of care, or perhaps that you will be blamed if something doesn’t go smoothly while you’re not there.
Feelings of unworthiness
- You may feel as though you don’t have the right to ask for help, or don’t deserve it.
- You may feel you should be able to do everything yourself since you are family.
- Trusting outsiders to come in and help can be scary. You may worry things won’t get done without you there to do it, or that they won’t be done correctly. The lack of trust in someone else is common and stems from too much responsibility on one person.
Overcoming negative feelings about asking for help with caregiving
Acknowledge your feelings and work through them. If you don’t, you’ll stay stressed out and feel guilty every time you need help. It’s actually a healthy thing to ask for help because it shows that you value your own health as much as the older adult you’re caring for.
Tips for accepting help with caregiving
First, remind yourself that it’s ok to feel negatively about the role of caregiving from time to time. Life can be hard and throw major curves at us, turning things upside down. Worrying will stress you out and most of the time, the things we worry about never come to pass. Rather than fearing what might happen, talk through your feelings with a trusted friend or family member.
Increase your trust of outside help by having the person work together with you on the tasks that need to be done. You can make sure things are being done to your standards before leaving them alone for longer periods. You’ll find that it will get easier to step away for times of rest.
Finally, remember that asking for help will only make you better at your role as a caregiver! It might not seem that way, but taking time out for yourself will reduce your stress and allow you to make better decisions when you are caring for your loved one. It will also put you in a better frame of mind, making you more enjoyable to be around. This will translate to better care and a patient heart.
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