How to Handle Alzheimer’s Caregiver Guilt

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Managing Guilt as an Alzheimer's Caregiver in Jefferson County, CO

 

Caring for an elderly loved one is often a rewarding endeavor. However, if your loved one has Alzheimer’s, the task may be more challenging. Between caring for their elderly loved ones, managing multiple households, and often working outside the home, Alzheimer’s family caregivers commonly feel frustrated and angry, which can lead to feelings of guilt. All these emotions are normal, and they can be addressed in a healthy way.

Don’t Place Blame

When confronted by the behaviors of your parent with Alzheimer’s, continually remind yourself the situation isn’t your loved one’s fault. It’s merely part of the disease process that your loved one cannot prevent.

It’s also important to avoid blaming yourself. Even the most loving caregiver sometimes makes mistakes. Objectively identify what you perceive as your failings so you can make necessary changes. For example, maybe you simply need to develop a better time management system. You might even discover you’re falling short of the high standards you’ve set for yourself because you’re overwhelmed by your caregiving duties. If this is the case for you, don’t feel guilty about asking family and friends for help. 

Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Lakewood elder care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more.

Take Tie for Self-Care

If you find yourself experiencing too many negative emotions on a regular basis, it may be a sign you need to focus more on self-care. If you feel emotionally fulfilled, you’ll be better able to handle negative thoughts and emotions. You can prevent frustration and fatigue by remembering to take care of your own needs as well as your loved one’s. Prioritize eating healthy, getting plenty of rest, and making time to do the things you enjoy. Keeping a journal can also prove helpful. This way, you may notice patterns or behaviors that spur the negative emotions and find more effective ways to address them.

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

Practice Gratitude

Learn to live in the moment. Appreciate the good days when you can reminisce and share joyful times with your loved one. Focus on the positive qualities of your loved one’s personality that remain. Look at photos together or play your loved one’s favorite music to trigger pleasant memories. Perhaps engage him or her in simple card games or other fun activities.

Reach Out for Support

Family caregivers don’t have to handle their guilt alone. You should be able to talk freely about your negative emotions with your friends and other family members. Talking about your guilt can provide a welcome outlet for all your unpleasant emotions. You should also consider joining a support group. By meeting with other people in similar circumstances, you’ll learn that you’re not alone. You can get tips and strategies for handling difficult situations, and your own knowledge and experience might help someone else.

Consider Hiring a Home Caregiver

At some point, you may need to resign yourself to the fact that you need professional assistance. Consider respite care one or more days a week to give yourself a much-needed break. Later on, your loved one may need around-the-clock home care. By allowing your parent to get accustomed to another caregiver, the transition becomes easier for everyone. By no means should you feel guilty or like a failure for needing help.

Hiring professional caregivers is one of the best ways family members can delegate caregiving duties to others and keep guilt and other negative emotions at bay. Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors to manage without assistance, and it can be just as challenging for families who don’t have experience in providing Alzheimer’s care. Lakewood Home Care Assistance provides Alzheimer’s care seniors and their families can depend on. Our proprietary Cognitive Therapeutics Method was designed to help seniors with Alzheimer’s and other memory-related conditions live happier and healthier lives. Rely on the professionals at Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate care for your loved one. Give us a call today at (303) 987-5992 to learn about our flexible in-home care plans.

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