‘Wisdom’ Posts

Guilt Busters For Caregivers

June 24th, 2016 by Doris Bersing

forehead-65059_640Caregiving brings about a swirl of feelings and guilt is one of them. As the saying goes, guilt is a useless emotion, says Ruth Folger (*). While that may be true, as compassionate human beings we experience guilt more frequently than we may like, especially when it comes to taking care of an aging loved one.

Caring for the elderly is a frustrating task. You may find yourself getting angry at the slightest things, like having to prepare an extra meal or finding the time to help them change. Then, you start to feel selfish or guilty. These feelings are normal, but in order for you to be happy and continuing to enjoy your elderly loved one while they are still here, it’s important to learn to let go of the guilt associated with caring for them.

  • Don’t feel guilty for not spending enough time with your loved one. Any time spent with your loved one is quality time – time they will be grateful for it. Most often, when you are acting as the caregiver, it is in addition to the full time job you already have. Think about the time you spend with them like a budget. How many hours a week can you put towards visits and phone calls? Making a mental plan of how you will allocate your time can help ease the guilt.
  • Don’t feel guilty for taking a vacation. This is probably one of the biggest fears caregivers carry with them. In addition to not spending enough time with a loved one, you feel the second you leave or go away somewhere that you’re going to get “the phone call.” Thinking this way will only add more stress to your life and make the time that you do spend with your loved one strained. If you want to go away, have a plan in place in case of an emergency, but do not halt your plans all together.
  • Don’t feel guilty when other emotions take over. Do you sometimes feel like you are losing your patience? Some days are more difficult than others, and occasionally your emotions may take over. This is completely normal. No one is perfect and you are allowed to be angry, sad, or tired. Just take a deep breath and remember that it is okay to feel this way.
  • Don’t feel guilty when you find yourself resenting this role. Being a caregiver is a very trying job. Resentment is another emotion that can develop over time. You begin to resent your loved one for the little things they do. You resent that you are in charge of being the caregiver. You resent other members of your family who could be helping a lot more but aren’t. At the end of the day, you have to remember that you are doing the right thing. While something trivial may send you spiraling down the path of resentment, you know deep down that you would have even more resentment if you weren’t helping out your loved one.
  • Don’t feel guilty for taking time for yourself or the other members of your family. Do you want to read a book? Catch up on your favorite TV show? Go get a massage? Do it. You deserve to take time for yourself so you can rejuvenate and relax. When you take time for yourself, it can help ease your guilt and the other emotions because you are restarting your mind. You may also have a family of your own, and they need to spend time with you as well. Don’t stretch yourself too thin, but make sure you aren’t neglecting your family or friends because you’re taking care of one of your elders.
  • Don’t feel guilty if you have to put your loved one in a nursing home. No one can do it all, and it is okay to ask for help. As much as you would love to be the sole caregiver of your loved one, with full-time jobs, families, and other obligations, it can be close to impossible. You can relieve yourself from a lot of stress when you find the right healthcare center to move your loved one into. There are many stigmas against senior homes, but in today’s society, most of those are just old wives’ tales. Finding a good senior home can be the best decision you make both for you and your loved one, mentally and physically.

With care giving comes a lot of stress. It is essential that you don’t let the guilt associated with that stress consume you.

(*) Ruth Folger Weiss is a writer for the Westgate Hills Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center, a nursing home in Baltimore, MD, who shares with us tips for busting the guilt associated with caring for an elderly family member.




Making Alzheimers Moms Happy With Just a One Minute Call a Day

May 5th, 2012 by Doris Bersing

Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Co-Founder of Presence Care Project, Marguerite Manteau-Rao explains in an article published by the  Huffington Post how “being a long-distance caregiver is hard, especially when a loved one’s mind can no longer dwell on the memory of prior times together, or the anticipation of a future visit. One can easily feel helpless and overcome with grief, and guilt, and frustration. I would like to share one small thing I have discovered with my mother, that’s made a huge difference in how I feel about living so far from her…” This story if for the 2.3 million long-distance caregivers who have a loved one with Alzheimer’s. Read the article


April 9th, 2012 by Doris Bersing

Fascinating photographs of elder stateswomen and matriarchs from cultures around the world.
See the photo show

I’m not twenty…by Mary Oliver!

March 26th, 2010 by Doris Bersing

Some reflections when we think everything fails… Keep’ on going. Read this “Self-Portrait by Mary Oliver”

I wish I was twenty and in love with life
and still full of beans.

Onward, old legs!
There are the long, pale dunes; on the other side
the roses are blooming and finding their labor
no adversity to the spirit.

Upward, old legs! There are the roses, and there is the sea
shining like a song, like a body
I want to touch

though I’m not twenty
and won’t be again but ah! seventy. And still
in love with life. And still
full of beans.

Read about Mary Oliver

Aging Parents: A Great Resource From A Living Well Associate

January 22nd, 2010 by Doris Bersing

Living Well Associate and Mediator, Carolyn Rosenblat, Esq. is gathering wonderful articles and content on the topic of aging parents and caring for them. Carolyn is Registered Nurse with ten years of experience in nursing, and twenty-seven years of experience as a lawyer, representing injured persons. She has been a mediator for three years, after representing many clients at mediation as their advocate. Her areas of expertise as a mediator include personal injury, elder abuse and neglect, and a variety of other subjects including defective products, medical negligence, parent-teacher-school conflicts and real estate disputes. She has considerable experience in working with elders, social services concerning them, and the families of elders.

Take a look at Carolyn’s blog