← Return to The Caregivers' Guilt Dumpster - Open for business

Scott, Volunteer Mentor (@IndianaScott)

The Caregivers' Guilt Dumpster - Open for business

Caregivers | Last Active: Oct 3, 2016 | Replies (14)

Comment receiving replies

My husband and I were care givers for my mom and dad for close to 40 years. The last 10 years was very difficult for me seeing my mom failing and tearing dad apart verbally. My sister and brother would visit occasionally (2-3 x a year) but never really accepted that my mom was having problems. We moved them closer to my sister and brother three years ago so that they would get to see family more often which also included grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They lived in independent living for 2 years before having to move mom into memory care. Dad remains in independent living. I am now 2 1/2 hours away and visit e/o week.
I spend pretty much the whole day there. Two hours with mom and 4-5 hours with dad. Since mom has been in memory care (I’m the lady that visits once in awhile — she doesn’t know me as her daughter) I have enjoyed being the “daughter” again and just visiting without all of the other responsibilities. My sister is now trying to guilt me into coming more. She visits a couple times a week, for short periods, and my brother visits daily (he works next door to the facility). They both feel very guilty that nothing was done to help mom prior to their move. I tried for 2-3 years asking them to help. How do I explain to them that they do not need to feel guilty. Mom is being well taken care of. Dad is doing fine. They need to love them as their parents. God has blessed us with extra years to share with them. They are not a burden. I don’t want them to burn out by thinking they have to make up for lost time. What do I do?

Jump to this post

Replies to "My husband and I were care givers for my mom and dad for close to 40..."

Hello @kateia. You bring up a very valid and important caregiving point. How others act and react in response to guilt they may be feeling, but more often than not, haven’t verbalized before.

I encountered this in my caregiving and actually with one family member it is worse now that my wife has passed on. I wish I had an easy answer.

All I can say is I developed a ‘stock answer’ I used saying something along the lines of ‘for MK’s benefit, we have to focus on the future and our time together from today on. Yesterday has become unimportant.” This helped moved them off their guilt (sometimes only after they heard it about the 100th time) and it helped me, too, in remembering I had to focus on today and tomorrow and not the losses of yesterday.

Strength and peace,

I agree that focusing on the time that we have left with mom and dad is what is important now. I have been so blessed to have had both my parents live to an older age. Mom is 85 and dad is 90. So many of my friends wish that they could still visit with their parents who are now gone. I will cherish each and every minute that I have with them. I will also encourage my sister and brother to do likewise. Thank you for your comment.