guilt assisted livingIt’s one of the most difficult decisions you will make in your entire life.

Many caregivers feel guilty about putting a parent into assisted living or moving their relative, spouse, or close friend into assisted living, a nursing facility, or memory care.

It’s essential to take someone out of their home if it becomes unsafe or impossible to continue this living arrangement either physically or financially. The reality is that, even though this decision is best for their health or safety, it can still cause guilt and sadness.

Understanding the root cause of guilt is important in helping you to accept the change and reduce stress.

Three common reasons of guilt with assisted living

Are you feeling guilty about moving to assisted living facility? These are the common reasons for feeling guilty about moving to assisted living. Here’s how you can change your mind.

Common belief #1: Your duty to care for your parent has been breached

  • I promised Mom that I would always take care her.
  • Dad asked me to take care of his spouse (your stepmother) on his deathbed.
  • Dad asked me to not abandon him.
  • We promised each other that when we were married, we would always be there for one another, in sickness or in health.

This is false guilt.

  • You are ensuring they get the care they require.
  • This means that you have to make difficult decisions about their safety and health, and provide them with the care they require.
  • You’ll likely still spend a lot time with them, visiting with staff, advocating their needs and managing their overall care.
  • You’re taking care of your senior adult, and you haven’t forgotten them.

Common belief #2: Your caregiver skills are not up to par.

  • My friend cares for her mom at home and has done it longer than me. It would have been possible for me to continue doing it.
  • My brother believes I’m lazy, and that I don’t want Mom to be at home any more.
  • My husband’s former wife’s daughter told me she is angry that I am leaving her father in a senior home.

Reality: This is not true. You are doing your best, which is all anyone can realistically accomplish.

  • Every family is unique and each person’s story is unique. It’s unfair to try to compare yourself with others.
  • An older adult might have more severe health issues or require more care than can be provided at home.
  • It’s time for a major overhaul in your living conditions if you are suffering from health problems or someone else is at risk.
  • There are situations  when you and your elderly adult need to move.
  • You must also protect your health so that you can continue to care for your loved ones.

It is also important to remember, people who aren’t able to help or understand the situation don’t have the right to make accusations or make judgments. Do your best to ignore hurtful comments if they don’t understand reality.

Common belief #3: Their health would not have gotten any worse or improved if they hadn’t moved.

  • If Mom was still at home, she wouldn’t have been so sick from the flu.
  • Dad would eat better and not lose weight if I took care of him.
  • If my wife had stayed home with me, she would still be able to recognize me.

Reality: This is not true. It is impossible to control someone’s cognitive abilities or health.

  • Although it’s normal to second-guess yourself, the truth is that no one can predict or control what the future will look like.
  • It’s possible to believe that things might have been different if your older adult had been at home. It’s possible, however, that the outcome would have been different.
  • You could also have made things worse by not deciding to transfer them to assisted living.
  • You made this difficult decision because they were not receiving the care they required at home.

Moving someone to assisted living takes time. Tour the assisted living facility. Talk to other family members. Explain what is happening in the home. Make it clear that you are making the decision for their health and safety.

Call Reflections Assisted Living at (843) 903-0700 to schedule a tour and let us help you remove the guilt from this decision.

Reflections Assisted Living at Carolina Forest
219 Middleburg Dr
Myrtle Beach, SC 29579
(843) 903-0700