How to Cope with Caregiver Guilt

A family caregiver offers water to her senior loved one.

When your loved one moves to an assisted living community, the transition can be difficult. The decision to seek additional support for daily living is not an easy one to make. However, when caring for your loved one at home becomes dangerous because of safety concerns, or when it’s just too much for you to manage, assisted living is a solution that many families choose.

Even if you’re sure that you’ve made the right choice, it’s common for family caregivers to feel guilt, sadness and a sense of loss afterwards. In this post, we offer an explanation of caregiver guilt and suggestions for ways that you can cope with your complex feelings around assisted living.

3 Ways to Manage Caregiver Guilt

Family caregivers often believe they aren’t doing enough for their senior loved one. This might stem from having unrealistic expectations about your ability to provide complete or perfect care for your loved one. Some caregivers even compare themselves to other caregivers and think they’re failing in some way.

If you don’t find healthy ways to deal with these feelings, caregiver guilt can cause additional stress, anxiety and depression. Use these tips to help you better cope with any sadness you may be feeling after your loved one moves to assisted living.

1. Remember that your loved one is being well cared for and supported.

Do you remember feeling overwhelmed and spread thin when you were the sole caregiver? In an assisted living community, your loved one has several opportunities to engage in enriching activities, make new friends and receive personalized care and support with daily living activities. This is a level of senior care that is almost impossible for one person to provide on their own.

2. Spend meaningful time together whenever you can.

Instead of dwelling on being away from your parent or loved one, focus on making the time you are able to spend with them as meaningful as possible. Reminisce on good times, enjoy a good meal together, or just savor being in each other’s company without you feeling burdened about their care. Also, encourage them to participate in social activities within the community. Knowing that your loved one is enjoying themselves and meeting new people can help ease the guilt you feel about being away from them.

3. Stop comparing yourself to other caregivers.

Remember that everyone’s situation is unique. What works for another family might not work for you and your loved one. For example, if your senior family member is dealing with dementia or Alzheimer’s, they need a higher level of care than you can provide at home. Or, your own health and well-being might be suffering as a result of full-time caregiving. The best thing you can do is focus on your unique situation and the unique needs of your loved one.

Supportive Assisted Living in North Florida

If you find yourself overwhelmed with caregiving, it may be time to consider the benefits of assisted living for the senior you love. The staff at an assisted living community, such as Advent Christian Village’s Dacier Manor, provide individualized assistance with personal services like bathing, dressing and grooming. If necessary, your loved one can also receive help with medications, housekeeping and personal laundry services.

If you’re interested in receiving more help with daily personal care, please reach out to us or give us a call at 260-578-3219 and see how we can help. We’ve designed our assisted living community to give residents and their families peace of mind and quality senior care.

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