Posted on Nov 20, 2019 in Senior Living
Moving a loved one to senior living is one of the toughest decisions an individual can face.
Even if all evidence suggests a transition away from home is essential, it’s still normal to feel guilty about the issue.
Compounding the problem, this is a stage of life where you could also be simultaneously dealing with bereavement. With one parent gone, moving the other parent into a senior living community is doubly poignant. Maybe it’s not a parent at all, but your partner.
Whether this decision concerns your mom or dad, your husband or your wife, we’ll examine some of the main reasons you might feel guilty and how you can respond to those feelings.
The key here is to acknowledge your feelings, talk about them if necessary then move on with your life. Don’t allow yourself to be chipped away at by unnecessary guilt.
Having these feelings is normal. Just remember that you don’t need to hold onto guilt or be burdened by it. Accepting this as part of the natural order of things can help you feel less accountable.
We’ll look at some of the most common reasons for feeling guilty in the first place.
Maybe you promised your parents that you would always look after them at home.
Perhaps you assured your partner that you’d never see them move into assisted living as long as you were around to help out.
It’s commonplace to feel guilty for not living up to these promises if the day comes when it’s time for a permanent move to senior living.
Remember, making a smart decision for the benefit of a loved one’s health, safety and wellbeing does not mean you have failed in your duty. You’ve done the right thing even if it doesn’t feel like it. Keep reassuring yourself that you have made the right decision.
Hopefully, as your loved one starts to thrive in their new environment, these feelings will pass.
If you played a significant role in caregiving for your loved one, it’s not remotely surprising if you feel like you’ve let them down when they move into senior care.
If you see your friend easily dealing with an elderly loved one, maybe you feel inadequate by comparison. Avoid this line of thinking and try not to compare yourself with others at all. You don’t know the whole story, and you don’t know what help other people have on hand. All that counts is you and your loved one.
There comes a time as a caregiver for a family member when stepping back is the responsible thing to do. Remove any negative feelings if your loved one needs more care than can be administered at home. You’re being the best possible caregiver by passing on the baton when things become unmanageable.
Guilt can seep in some time after your loved one has happily settled into a senior living community.
Maybe one day you’re out with friends and you suddenly feel a twinge because you haven’t thought about your loved one for hours.
You don’t have to feel bad for enjoying yourself and making new memories.
Ask yourself this…
Would you want your loved one to stay indoors rather than having fun?
We didn’t think so. So have fun and don’t feel bad or apologize for it, because odds are, your loved one is having fun at their senior living facility at this very moment!
Many people feel guilty when their loved one becomes ill after moving into senior living care or has an existing condition that worsens. After all, not everyone who moves into senior living suddenly notices an improvement in their lives.
It’s natural and understandable to imagine that if only you’d kept your parent or partner at home, everything would have been okay.
It probably wouldn’t have been fine, though. In fact, things could have turned out even worse.
Bear in mind that there’s simply no way you can foresee how someone’s overall health will pan out. Stop attaching any blame for yourself about how things turn out as your loved one deals with this challenging stage of life and you do your best to help.
Sometimes, especially if caregiving duties become all-consuming, it’s easy to underestimate how important it is for you to be happy, too.
Sometimes, a short period of respite care can be helpful but how about when it’s time for the permanent move to a senior living community?
Well, it’s all too easy to forget about what you need. Instead, recalibrate and take the chance to recuperate if you’ve been involved in sustained caregiving that you found wore you down. Focus on the positives of the evolving situation and look at change as a chance for everyone to be happier, you included. When you take better care of yourself, it allows you to provide better care to your loved one. Even if you have moved your loved one into a senior living facility, taking the time to focus on yourself and your needs will allow you to make the most out of the next visit when you see your loved one.
Perhaps you’re reading this before moving your loved one. If so, take the time to get in touch and arrange for a free tour of one of our assisted living facilities here at Landmark. By planning in advance, you can minimize the friction of moving.
Once you’re absolutely confident about the quality of the facility – and we’re proud of all 5 Landmark facilities – you’ve got far less to worry about when you’re moving a loved one to senior living, so get in touch today.