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Guilt - Carers UK Forum


For anyone who is bereaved or no longer providing care.

Does anyone out there reflect on their life as a carer and feel guilty and could have done better? It's been just over a year since Mum died but now and again I think about how I used to get so cross and frustrated with her and yes I did shout at her sometimes because she didn't understand. I now feel bad about it and worry that I made her unhappy. You just don't know what they feel or think when they have Alzheimer's , would she have remembered that I was cross with her? I feel I should have kept her at home and coped. She was in the care home for just 6 months. Would she have lived longer had she stayed at home with us? Probably not her heart would have given out just the same. I'm being daft I know but I do feel guilty some days and feel I should have been a better carer. These thoughts usually happen when the weather turns nasty. We need some sunshine and a bit of warmth.
Easy said I know, don't beat yourself up. Try and think , I done my best, your only
human, I'm the same P, thinking back , especially if I had of got mum home she would still
be alive, but we don't know whats going on in their bodies or minds at that
age. I like to think in mums moments of clarity which where very rare, she understood
the stress and strain, the illness caused. you remember your mum loved you ,
At home , care home, in hospital, either way mum knew you cared ,
and where there for her. I like to think of my mum , as always being around me protecting me. hope so. I know it's very hard to get past the bad memories, to remember the good
healthy times together. try and pick a few times when you and mum laughed together.,
hope I have not upset you going on,
Your mum will be watching over you now. sending you big HUGS
Minnie x
Thanks Minnie. I thought after a year all this would have past. It takes longer than you think. Yeah it did bring a tear to my eye but you are right. I'm always hard on myself and think I'm not good enough. I wish I could remember Mum before the horrid Alzheimer 's at the moment all I can see is her when she was confused or in the hospital when she died. Mind you she did say some funny things even when confused and we did laugh. When I pushed her down the hill in her wheelchair she would always shout weeeeeeeeeee! Like a child on a slide or a swing! In my head I know I couldn't have coped at home anymore she was too aggressive and I was at breaking point but as carers we always put the other person first despite the fact we are told to look after our own health!! That's easier said than done. Hopefully when the better weather comes things will look better. The grave will have sunk and I can cut the grass plant some flowers, the headstone will be in place and then I can move on.

Thanks for your reply, wise words and hugs. Image
Just remember we are only human, with good days and bad days, doing the best we can.
And that your Mum loved you and knew that you loved her too.
When mine died it took a long while to get passed the 'bad bit' at the end, but you do and now I remember her as she was when she was my Mum.
A year isn't really that long.
Thanks for that. It was so different when Dad died. He went suddenly and I had given birth to out youngest son just 4 weeks prior. I sobbed my heart out when he went. This time because looking after Mum had been so much hard work I think I shed a lot of tears when I was caring for her. I didn't realise bereavement could take so long. Had the final bill for the headstone today that doesn't help. It too expensive to die Image " don't worry it will be fine " !!

Thanks for all your support and hugs Image
A year is nothing in the process of grief.

You did your best and trust me your mum would never have remembered an angry word said in haste. That is truly the only good part of dementia. My mum used to have stand offs with me over dusting, hoovering, being in her sink, suggesting she had a bath. I learned to leave the room, count to ten and return to her asking me "When did you arrive, how long are you here for?"

The folks we love most are the ones we can easiest hurt, or they hurt us.

Take care
One year is very little time. It is now almost two years since I lost Mum, and I am still overwhelmed with guilt. At the end she was in hospital less than 24 hours, but I cannot get over the fact I did not stay there with her all night. The nurses said I could go home and they would phone if they was any change, and I did go home, against my better judgement. After ten years of caring at home this was the end neither of us wanted. Mum didn't have any trace of Alzheimers, just depression. In fact at the hospital day centre she even beat the carers at all the quizzes, much to her, and my, amusement.

In some ways severe anxiety in the fully aware can be even more distressing than dementia, and I am distraught that I was not not there when, perhaps, I was needed more than ever. Sorry I am not offering any easy answers, just to say that there are many of us experiencing the same torment.
Dealing with bereavement is as personal a situation as our caring roles are, each one is different. Like said above, we are only human and can only make the best decisions we can on any given day.

Reading the many posts on this forum over the years, almost every decision is made in the best interests of those we love. It is only when it becomes too much do many carers think of themselves. When that day comes though, they know they have tried everything possible to continue.

There comes a point when we need to let go. Not of the good memories, just any negative feelings we have. It is excess stress if that makes sense. By lightening our load we can try move forward. I pray in time you can too.

x x x
My mum was diagnosed with lymphoma in november -I moved down to be with her and she was given weeks to live in december. she died about 4 weeks ago. I have regrets about some of the decisions we made and a lot of the "what if", "if only" - It is very hard to let them go and because it is so recent I reckon they will surface again, and again......

It helps a lot to know other people feel the same things. Seems like it is part of the territory of caring - i was only caring for a short amount of time, so I know other people have really different experiences to mine. But it seems that we have these feelings because we care, because we have taken it seriously, because we mind, because we can love people and act on that love, and be human and honest about ourselves. And that - quite frankly - is a gift. and hard as it is, and horrible - cos guilt is hellish - we risk it through trying to be there for people. and i'm not trying to make us all out to be angels (or comparing myself to people who have been caring for years, a really short intense sprint is different from a marathon and requires different skills and strengths) - but I think i shall try and include the regret/guilt as "part of the package" and as long as it only takes up its rightful amount of space it will be ok. And I also know that if I had seen the package - including the guilt/regret - at the beginning of visiting my mum - I would have still accepted it. My friend describes it as having been at the "coal-face" of life. I think we should be proud of ourselves.
Hi rache,
I missed your posts, sorry about your mum, things will be very raw for you.
I think you said it all in these two important lines.

"Because we care , Because we mind"

Take it day by day.
Take care