Dealing with feelings of guilt with the support of others who care for a person with dementia

From the June/July 2016 issue of our magazine, no matter what choices carers make as dementia progresses, they often have to deal with feelings of guilt and regret.

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Caring for a person with dementia brings many practical and emotional challenges. Family members and carers may feel guilty, even when they are making good and careful choices.

It is difficult if a person with dementia denies that anything is wrong and refuses to see the doctor. It can also be hard if someone is behaving in a challenging way because of their dementia. Making difficult decisions, such as having to arrange residential care for a person with dementia, can also mean that carers struggle with feelings of guilt.

Guilt monster

On Talking Point, people often refer to this as the 'guilt monster'. Even when making the best decisions for parents or spouses, carers may have to deal with powerful feelings of guilt and regret.

It can be difficult to share how you are feeling, especially if family members don't understand your perspective, or may be critical of decisions without knowing the full story or your situation.

On Talking Point, our online community, there are forums for people who are dealing with all stages of dementia - from getting a diagnosis to supporting a person with advanced dementia. There is also a members' only area for people to discuss particularly difficult or sensitive topics.

Sharing

Talking Point members have used the community to ask other people affected by dementia about dealing with feelings of guilt or anger, how to cope when someone is in denial about their condition, and whether they should be considering residential care for a loved one.

Having a place to share your experience with other people who are in similar situations and may understand how you are feeling can make a huge difference. Other Talking Point members can suggest things that might be helpful and offer support. Talking Point is free, open day or night, and you just need an internet connection to take part.

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