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Hindsight Can Be a Blessing or a Curse for Caregivers

Stress_pexels-nathan-cowley-897817Photo credit Nathan Cowley

They say hindsight is 20/20. But things from the past that may seem “clear” to you now can still be distorted by difficult emotions—especially when it comes to something as impactful as caregiving. Now that you have some experience under your belt, imagine that you could go back in time. What would you say to your novice self about how to be a caregiver? As a seasoned caregiver myself, I can choose to ruminate over my perceived failures, or I can choose to forgive myself for being imperfect and recognize that I did the best I could at the time. You have the same choice.

Much like an adult who realizes they have a “wounded child” living inside—a child who suffers from unearned guilt or low self-esteem because of life events—many adult caregivers are burdened with regrets and remorse from their caregiving years long after this role ends. They spend precious time thinking about how they should have understood someone’s needs better, could have been more patient, or would have done a number of things better, if only they knew then what they know now. The very people who take on caregiving roles are often the most sensitive to others’ needs. Caregivers take on responsibilities for others in an attempt to improve their health, happiness, and well-being. But let’s face it. Whatever we do as caregivers seems to be wrong in the eyes of some onlookers. The critics are generally people without all of the facts

Continue reading on Agingcare for more discussion about how we can beat ourselves up with the "wisdom" of hindsight:

Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories.“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.” ...Craig William Dayton, Film Composer

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