I've lost balance while caring for my parents. If I'm not doing EVERYTHING I have tremendous guilt.

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Learn to live with the guilt feelings and to shove them into the background. Guilt is kind of the default background feeling for caregivers. Don't let the guilt make decisions for you. Strive for balance.
me too. it is hard. sometimes i feel like i have lost myself.
Take a step back and recognize that if you are doing everything, you are probably not doing a good job since you are overextended. The cardinal rule is that you must first take care of yourself, then those around you. So, while you are in a calm moment, figure out what can be handed off to others. Are they living in a facility or on their own? If they are in a facility, then you need to know that they are safe and you can rely on others (while keeping in mind the "trust but verify" rule). But make a list of things you will permanently cross off your list of things to do. Surely there are some things that others can do just as well, or not done at all.
Good luck!
Unfortunately as primary caregivers we have guilt about not being able to do this or that. Write a list of all the daily things you do and pay for. It will be a long list. We all want to "fix" each problem our aging parents encounter. Remember the aging process will always win. We, no matter how much we try, are only working on the margins. Actually, we are lessening the impact of aging and making their remaining years more comfortable and enjoyable.

I had my father with me until he passed away earlier this yr. I worked full time and cared from him alone. I hired hhaides to be with him while I worked. I would come home from work, work all evening and at midnight with lots of things on my "to do list" I would go to bed. During the night (every 1 1/2 hours) I would be up tending to his needs--then at 5:30 pm I would be up getting ready to go to work. It is a merry go round. Just do what is possible--not overdo.

A person in the medical field, who has my greatest respect, made the following comment to me during a down time with my emotions: "If the decisions you make are out of love there is no wrong decision. If you feel you could do more but can't be specific then you are doing all that you can. If there is something you are not capable of doing seek others to assist."

I just want to agree with the guilt complex syndrome. No matter how much I do and if I'm not there 24/7 I always feel like I should be there but not doing more because there is nothing else more I can do, I cross all the T's and dot all the I's.
To me, guilt comes with the territory. Either my Mom puts on the guilt trip or I do it myself. Sometimes I feel as if I am not doing enough and then sometimes I don't. I just pray for patience and to show my love for her as much as I can. Whenever you feel guilty just ask yourself if you are doing all you can. The answer to that question will probably YES!
We try, don't we! I am sending you a big warm comforting hug! Wrap yourself in it and then ask yourself who's expectations are you trying to meet. Yours or your parents. Do they need EVERYTHING that you are demanding of yourself? Sometimes making a list of all that requires your attention and then condensing or eliminating a few could relieve some of your pressure. Also, asking for help is not a failure on your part. If your parents are safe and comfortable and have the necessities of life, you have accomplished more than you can imagine.
What GREAT advice!!! Thank you PinkGinny !

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