Caregiver Guilt is Good

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Nine out of ten caregivers feel guilt about some aspect of their caregiver responsibilities, a new survey concludes.

“Guilt is a common feeling in the landscape of caregiving. Guilt can propel you to be the best you can be …or it can immobilize you,” says Vicki Rackner, M.D., the founder of Medical Bridges, the organization that conducted this informal survey.

For caregivers, painful feelings — such as guilt, sadness and anger — are like any other pain. “It’s your body’s way of saying, ‘Pay attention.’ Just as the pain of a burned finger pulls your hand from the stove, so, too, guilt guides your actions and optimizes your health,” explains Dr Vicki, a physician who helps patients and caregivers become more involved in their own health care decisions.
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