3 Tips for Seniors to Overcome Guilt and to Accept Caregiving Help

Adult woman talking with her elderly mother

If you are noticing signs that your senior parent may be struggling with keeping up around the house or with their personal care, you are most likely thinking about getting the help of caregivers. Considering the help of in-home caregiver for your elderly loved one may be a difficult decision and it becomes even more difficult when your senior loved one is refusing to accept caregiving help because of guilt. Whether your loved one is experiencing challenges from age, arthritis or dementia, convincing them they need help can be a difficult process, so here are a few tips to help your senior loved one overcome guilt, fear and apprehensions about accepting caregiving help.

Recognize and Understand the Concerns

There may be a number of reasons why seniors have concerns about accepting help from caregivers. Some of the most common reasons are feelings of unworthiness and trust issues, but the most common reason why seniors often refuse help is due to guilt. They may feel guilty at the thought of taking you away from your home and family, guilty about spending money for outside caregivers and guilty for simply thinking that they aren’t able to care for themselves. It’s important to have a conversation with your senior loved one about why they are feeling guilty and address their concerns with open honesty. It’s important to explain to them that seeking caregiving help doesn’t mean that they are no longer responsible for their own decisions and actions; it’s simply a way to help them enjoy their life without the worry of household tasks.

Include Them in The Decision

Including your senior parent in the decision of choosing an in-home caregiver will not only allow them to get familiar with someone new, but it will also help to understand that it will be people other than family members that will are going to help them.  The process of meeting hired caregivers may help to reduce their guilt about taking you from your family. Gradually introduce caregivers to them to help them recognize that they are only there to help and that the caregiver is not only happy to help, but that they are excited about spending time with the senior.

Redirect the Attention to You

If your senior loved one feels guilty about spending the money for caregiving help, you can redirect the idea towards you. For instance, you can explain that hiring a caregiver will be a great benefit for you, because the extra help will allow you to spend more quality time with them or with your family and your home. Explain to them that a caregiver will be able to take care of the daily household chores, do the shopping, do the laundry and prepare meals, which means you no longer have to do these things, leaving you more time to spend with your loved one.

Seniors may experience a range of emotions when it comes to caregiving help. They may feel guilty for not being able to do everything themselves, for having to take children from their own family or guilty about spending the money. However, they may also feel unworthy of the help or fear of having “strangers” in their home. Whatever the emotions are that are interfering with your senior loved one getting help, it’s important to remain patient and understanding, while being persistent. It’s also important to remember that as much as you want to be the primary caregiver for your senior loved one, getting outside help will be beneficial for both you and your senior loved one.

If your senior loved one needs caregiving help, please contact 1st Meridian Care Services.

Need immediate assistance? Call (858) 529-1886.

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