Caregiving isn’t easy. You know this. I do, too. Caregiving brings with it sadness, pain, discomfort, stress, and guilt.
So let’s talk about guilt.
As a Type A, High I—on the DISC Personality Survey, I want to fix everything that is wrong in the world. If you have a problem, it is my goal to fix it yesterday. Yet, here I am traveling the journey of dementia with my Momma and I cannot fix it. I cannot make it all go away with a good plan or persistent research and investigation. It is a part of my life, just as much as it is a part of Momma’s life.
There are days my heart hurts because I know Momma is having a bad day. Those are also days that are likely to make me experience guilt. What am I guilty about? I’m not sure.
Maybe I feel guilty that I cannot make Momma’s world better.
Maybe I feel guilty that I didn’t drop everything in my world and rush to Momma’s side to comfort her.
Maybe I feel guilty about…who knows what?
But I just feel guilt.
I stop at these moments and realize God did not put me on this earth to solve everyone’s problems. He did call me to care for my elders, but that caring does not mean I can fix everything. That’s his job—and I am glad for that. I believe God wants me to do as much as possible to make sure Momma is well-cared for and that she experiences a big dose of my love each day. However, God wants me to take care of myself, trust in him to care for Momma, and release any guilt that is hindering me from being the best me I can be.
I believe I need to ponder that thought more often and I hope it gives you Something to Ponder.
Carol Howell is a Certified Dementia Specialist and Endorsed Life Coach with an emphasis on Creative Music Experiences. After her husband’s closed-head injury in 1996 and her mother’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s in 2006, Carol began her study of the brain and the various forms of dementia that exist. Through her not-for profit company, Senior Life Journeys, she is actively involved in the lives of individuals who are caregiving for a loved-one with dementia as she helps them develop caregiving techniques. Carol’s latest book, Let’s Talk Dementia-A Caregiver’s Guide, is an Amazon #1 Best Seller, and it is an easy to read guide for caregivers of individuals with dementia. She also wrote the best seller If My Body Is A Temple, Why Am I Eating Doughnuts? It tells of the amazing miracle that caused her to lose 100 pounds. You can follow her blog—Something to Ponder—at www.seniorlifejourneys.com.