1 of the Worst Emotions of Alzheimer’s “Guilt” (Podcast Health)


1 of the Worst Emotions of Alzheimer’s – “Guilt”
Guilt may be the most annoying of the “seven deadly emotions” of Alzheimer’s caregiving. It’s right up there with resentment, worry, fear, anger, loneliness, and grief. this this podcast is based on the
original article written by Paul Spencer Scott one of the worst emotions of
Alzheimer’s guilt guilt may be the most annoying of the seven deadly emotions of
Alzheimer’s caregiving it’s right up there with resentment worry fear anger
loneliness and grief guilt is especially bothersome because it tends to be the
least rooted in reality there’s often no reason to feel guilty but we feel it
just the same goat usually stems from caring so much we want the best for the
person living with Alzheimer’s we want things to go well we want them to be
saved happy involved free of pain and worry
our intentions are good we are good but inherently and there’s lofty aspirations
is the nagging feeling of never quite being good enough
here are five examples of caregiver guilt guilt for what I’m not doing
I should be entertaining her more I should cook healthier meals I ought to
get us both exercising second guilt for what I’m doing I feel bad when I take my
husband to the day center but I really need a break
I shouldn’t rush mom threw her a shower like that I ought to be able to handle
this without whining after all I love this person
third guilt for not doing enough after years of struggles one caregiver
agonized over whether it was time to place her diabetic and demand mom who
was obese and becoming incontinent into a care facility when her mom needed an
amputation the discharge planner and doctors agreed there was little question
that this would be best a good option was found that worked out well all the
way around but the caregiver nevertheless felt she had let her mother
down she said I feel like there’s more that I could have done fourth go for
being away long distance caregivers feel their cash and phone support isn’t
enough those who use respite care are prick with feelings of insufficiency for
not being there 24/7 fit guilt for being happier well I’m in a good mood today oh
wait I shouldn’t be because my partner has Alzheimer’s why am I the healthy one
and he’s in such terrible shape what you should know about guilt as the examples
above illustrate there’s no end to the opportunities for guilt in the realm of
Alzheimer’s caregiving you can not ignore this persistent emotion
whispering in your ear no matter what you do or don’t do you can’t will it
away guilt simply is the way it is occasionally guilt can be a productive
emotion call it good guilt the nagging voice in our heads that causes us to
examine our behavior and decide whether it changes in order if you feel guilty
because you were impatient with your loved one for example it’s like a little
poke reminding you to try harder or take a deep breath next time are you guilty
you don’t go to the gym yes that would have been good for you and what would
make that possible unfortunately most of what eats us alive
is what I call bad guilt bad guilt has no constructive underbelly bad guilt
makes you feel bad about a situation that you can help for example you have
to move your parent to rehab or in some circumstances a memory care facility or
you feel bad about something that is actually positive for you you’ve hired
some home care so they’re more hands on deck bad guilt causes us to beat
ourselves up and this is often for reasons that are unrealistic and
counterproductive not to mention at all that’s doing and
self-flagellation waste productive mental energy what can
help you overcome guilt one beware the red flags ought to should could have
always never banned them from your vocabulary the warnings that you should
you’re setting the bar too high when you hear yourself saying
I should flick your forefinger against your wrist as a reminder always and
never are toxic because they set up for future guilt I’ll never put you in a
home I’ll always be here don’t promise things that you can’t be 100% certain of
100 percent of most of the things in your life too don’t discount yourself
ironically selfless people tend to feel proportionally more guilt because they
work so hard aspiring to an ideal of doing things for others they tend to
ignore the inconvenient reality that they have to look after themselves all
the more they may even forget that they too deserve extras and shortcuts and
breaks when they finally get around to the slow bath or a lunch with friends it
feels as alien as it does great trust your needs your perceptions your values
in this situation 3 aim to be a B+ caregiver straight A’s or for grad
students and craisins not mere mortals with houses to keep relationships to
tend jobs to do and send me to uphold no caregiver anticipates every fall or
prevents every bedsore tempers boil germs sneak in bills through slip
through 1p in other words life happens no matter how much you love the person
or fuel you owe him or her you’ll all be happier if you lower your standards to
the level of real life by aiming for the B you’ll achieve good marks consistently
and occasionally surprise yourself with an a rather than constantly feeling like
you’re missing the mark 4 remind yourself of your true goals ideally you
should be striving to give your loved one a secure life free of worry and pain
while maintaining your own quality of life and health don’t beat yourself up
over the small stuff 5 steer clear of comparisons we feel guilt when we feel
that we’re falling short of some imagined ideal
where do these ideas come from often from our own heads we compare ourselves
to someone else without stopping to calculate what their stress levels or
support situation is like without allowing that every case is different
sex see it as a sign of strength not
weakness to ask and enlist help strong smart people know that Alzheimer’s care
is not a task for the isolated in solitary the more you can delegate and
share the better life feels only those with too much hubris and Wolfer
ignorance of reality think they can do it by themselves 7 get the doctor or the
therapist 10 cents there’s nothing like hearing from a neutral third party no
you have nothing to feel guilty about in this situation often we don’t believe
the obvious until we hear it from a trusted neutral source this article was
adapted from surviving Alzheimer’s practical tips and soul saving wisdom
for caregivers articles related to this podcast include what’s the difference
between Alzheimer’s and dementia the frightened angry anxious mean dementia
patient 10 tips for communicating with an Alzheimer and dementia patient are
you banging your head against the wall three ways to redirect them a dementia
patient embrace reality you can find links to these articles in the show
notes below the article or below the podcast we also have two topics pages
related to this podcast these include what to do when dementia
patients get agitated and six reasons why you might have to put someone with
dementia in a memory care facility or nursing home this is original content
from the Alzheimer’s Reading Room we currently have over 35,000 active
readers on the Alzheimer’s reading room calm we offer a free subscription and
you are welcome to join with us in the Alzheimer’s reading room we help
caregivers to live a better life see you next time

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