When caregiving is over, whether that’s a sudden event or happens slowly over time, you’re going to go through a variety of emotions. How you deal with those emotions matters.
Dealing with Relief
The emotion you are probably feeling worst about is relief or something closely related. Caregiving is hard work. It’s equally hard to see your senior struggling with ailments that are difficult for her and that you can’t cure for her. You’re left making her as comfortable as possible and that never feels like enough. Your senior may also be a lot different than she’s been throughout the majority of your life. Cognitive issues can make your senior seem like a totally different person. It’s okay to be a little relieved that the pain and the awful are over for your elderly family member.
Managing Guilt or Regret
Everyone has regrets and situations they wish they’d handled differently, but caregivers seem to experience this more than most other people do. Caregivers always worry that there’s so much more that they should have or could have done and that worry can plague you well after your elderly family member has passed away. Rest with the knowledge that you’ve done everything that you can for your aging adult.
Handling the Sadness
Another big part of grief is the sadness of losing your senior family member. She was a big part of your life and your family and now she’s gone. That sadness doesn’t go away quickly or just because you want it to, either. It can help to remember the good times with your elderly family member and the times that you shared together when you laughed and enjoyed each other’s company.
Regaining a Sense of Purpose
You may feel a bit unmoored after your senior passes away. If you’ve been a caregiver for a long period of time, caregiving has made up a big part of your life. You may not know what to do with yourself and feel as if you don’t have much of a purpose any longer. It might take you some time to rediscover who you are when you’re not a caregiver.
The most important thing to remember about any of the feelings you experience after your senior passes away is that none of them are bad or wrong. You’re going to have good days and bad days, so make sure that you’ve got a self-care plan in place to help you. Hospice elder care providers can help you to reach out to support resources so that you can get the help you need.
If you or an aging parent are considering hospice elder care in Upper Darby, PA, please contact the caring staff at Serenity Hospice today. Call (215) 867-5405.