Excerpts on caregiver guilt (from caregiving bk)
This article on caregiver guilt is an excerpt from the book "Staying Afloat in a Sea of Forgetfulness: Common Sense Caregiving," by Gary Joseph LeBlanc. (See stayingafloatbook.com) I've copied a few excerpts only. See the link for the full article.
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(article is on page 27)
Coping with Caregiver Guilt
By Gary Joseph LeBlanc
Preserving Your Memory
(Published by the Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research Foundation)
Guilt is an overpowering and complicated emotion but appears to have a purpose in the life of human beings. When knowing weâve done something wrong, by all means, we should experience a touch of shame.
Thereâs not a caregiver out there that doesnât worry about whether or not the job he or she is doing is good enough. Even after your loved one has passed you will go through a stage of beating yourself up, wondering whether or not there was something more you could have done for your loved one.
The strong emotion of guilt that caregivers endure is just part of human nature. Go to a caregiverâs support group and ask all those surrounding you. They will tell you that they are experiencing or have experienced the exact same feelings. All caregivers face the same unattainable goal of sparing their loved ones the pain that comes with any disease. Everyoneâs desire is to provide a compassionate passing.
Caregivers get hit with a doublewhammy. While trying to wade through all the sadness and grievance, they get swept away by a pronounced tide of guilt. But take heart; this guilt trip will slowly start to fade, finally leaving you with just the normal amount of grief, which is bad enough.
Try not to berate yourself about areas in which you think you may have failed. Instead, focus on all the positive things you accomplished along the way. Think of the enhanced quality of life you singlehandedly brought to your loved one. Remember, you will remain in their heart forever.