3 Things a Caregiver Seeking Time Away Should Never Say

Have you ever been struck by waves of guilt when you're on a rare outing with family and friends, away from the responsibilities of caregiving?

Here are three common things caregivers say that feed that guilt:

  • "This is wrong!"

Feeling guilty for enjoying yourself isn't a sign that you shouldn't be doing so; rather, it's a sign of how well-intentioned you are and how much you care.

  • "What if something goes wrong?"

In fact, anything might go wrong; that's what happens in life. Things could go wrong even if you were at home.

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  • "What if I'm needed?"

You might be -- after all, you're needed 24/7, which is why you're getting away! Trust that those standing in for you can handle anything, maybe not the same way you would, or as well -- but competently. That's good enough, for a short time.

Recognize guilt for what it is. Name it. And remind yourself that, like the stress of being "on" all the rest of the time, it's a perfectly normal side effect of a strange phase of life.

Paula Spencer Scott

Paula Spencer Scott is the author of Surviving Alzheimer's: Practical Tips and Soul-Saving Wisdom for Caregivers and much of the Alzheimer's and caregiving content on Caring. See full bio