AARP Expert

Do you criticize yourself too much?

Many caregivers judge themselves harshly for not doing a good enough job. It is as if they feel ashamed of themselves and the efforts they are making to take care of a loved one. Such self-criticism doesn't make them a better caregiver. It only makes them a more unhappy and bedraggled caregiver. Do you ever have feelings like this? For more on this subject, please read my recent blog post on


I caretake my brain injured son. I do not get all the paperwork done as well as I used to. I do give myself a hard time and what's more, my son does too. Ihave to fight this from both of us. No I am not a servent, a secretary or housekeeper. I am good as a Mom. I am perseptive and talk to my son about stuff he would not talk to about to anyone else. I have been advisedt to treat him as a friend as oppsed to as Mom as he is 27 now. He is healing but his not able to organize beyond a certain point and both long and short term memory can be a problem. He has few friends here but I found a group of young brain injured folks which he likes. We are in a college town which sponsors the meetings during the school year. We are lucky. We work out at the Senior Center where lots of older people are watching my son. They tell me how much better he is doing and he his. He still sort of sundowns and get more needy and angry.


I do this alone. Family will see my son about once a month. His father moved out of state about 6 months after my son's accident so I get burned out. I am working on finding a place to retreat to. Thanks for your words. They help.


Mary Fox

AARP Expert

Dear Mary--Thanks for your reply. Even if you are sometimes hard on yourself, it still seems you are able to recognize that you do your son a lot of good. Please take pride in that and give yourself kudos if no one else will. He is certainly fortunate to have you in his corner. Take care, Barry

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