Caregiver Burden & Guilt Category
Caregiver Burden & Guilt – Significant emotional challenges are experienced by caregivers who desire to offer support, but for one reason or another find interactions challenging. Some feel guilty because they cannot do enough. Others feel guilty because of damaged family relationships. Others simply feel trapped by caregiving situations that have changed their life significantly. How do we close the gap between the level of care needed and what we’re physically and mentally able to provide?
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A feeling of mixed emotions often exists with those providing care to others. Caregivers look back at their lives and wonder how they arrived at the current situation. Caregiving is not what we hoped for and certainly is not an ideal situation. Sometimes caregivers wish they could just run away. Research indicates that caregivers with mixed emotions about caregiving experience a higher degree of psychological stress and that the foundation for these feelings is the quality of the relationship with the person receiving the care.
The role of caregiving is no easy road. Caregivers feel joy and fulfillment as well as guilt, anger, depression and loneliness. Caregivers feel family members have left them with the goods — the responsibility of physically and financially caring for a loved one. On one hand, caregivers resent time spent caregiving and on the other hand feel guilty because they are not doing more. Life has lost balance and no one seems to understand.
Politics and politicians—why can’t we do without them? Especially during period of election when the media spins stories and it’s difficult to know who to trust versus who not to trust. Caregiving situations where multiple family members are involved, presents a similar situation. There are times when it’s difficult to know the good caregiver from the ill-intended caregiver.
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You are a family caregiver; burned out, exhausted and angry. You cannot possibly do more for your loved one. You want to decrease time spent in caregiving activities. You look back and wonder how care needs advanced so quickly. You ask yourself why you failed to express concern that you would not be able to keep up the pace between being a family caregiver and holding down a full time job. You are the person at work who takes the extra shifts, who pitches in whenever help is needed. You never complain. Whether you are a caregiver at home or a caring type at work it may be time to look at how your actions are contributing to this situation of burnout and frustration.
Caregiver burden represents the emotional, physical, and financial aspects and responsibilities of providing care and support for an ailing family member. This is a subject rarely discussed because most caregivers would be embarrassed to show feelings of exhaustion, frustration, or anxiety; believing that caregiving is something that one is obligated to do for a loved one. The idea of the caregiving trap is also controversial, especially among caregivers who are filled with guilt. What “good” caregiver would ever admit feeling trapped by caregiving for a loved one?