Feeling Guilty

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Dear jaynie,

I have been the primary caregiver for my mom for five years now. She is getting increasingly difficult to care for. I feel guilty when I think about placing her in a care home that has the ability to meet all of her needs, the way I no longer can. How do I get past this? What’s the right thing to do?

– Anonymous Caregiver


Dear AC,

I know how hard it is to be a primary caregiver and I understand the ‘guilt’ factor, as I have served in that role. What I can tell you, from experience, is that you cannot do it all. You are a wonderful daughter who has gone above and beyond for your mom. We would all love to be able to be superwoman and do everything for our parents through the end of their lives, but we can’t. So we do the best we can for as long as we can. The best thing you can do for your mom, and for yourself, is to let the care home you have chosen take over for you. This will allow you to become the daughter again and to give the best of you to her. It will allow you to refresh and regroup and be healthy and clear headed. Once you do this and you regain your own personal strength, you will realize that it is the right decision. If you don’t, trust me, your health will start to suffer and you will find yourself unable to care for her and you will have to make this decision in crisis mode. It will get easier once you make the move. Our thoughts and prayers are with you through this difficult time.

jaynie

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