How to Deal With Guilt When Moving a Loved One to Assisted Living


Most seniors will not instantly agree to move to leave their homes or an environment they are familiar with and move into an assisted living community. As a caregiver or relative, you may be overwhelmed with guilt when making this decision even though you believe that the transition is what your loved one needs. Here’s some information that can help you be at peace with your decision.

Understanding why the decision was made

The decision to move your loved one to an assisted living community may arise due to certain changes like an injury, conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s or other reasons that made you realize your loved one needs better care provided at a community. The feelings of remorse can be alleviated when you know you did the right thing and that your loved one is going to receive full-time professional care.

Do not be in denial

Children are especially most vulnerable when making a decision to move their parent to a community. The feeling of confusion and guilt intensifies because they feel like the people who have been their caregivers for years are now being taken away. It is common to feel guilty because of the role reversal. Dealing with issues like dementia can be overwhelming emotionally and physically for the caregiver. You may not be able to continue running your day to day life with the demented family member. Seeing your loved one in those difficult situations every day can be heartbreaking. It’s time to get them the care needed in order to make the situation better for yourself and your loved one.

Anticipate the move

It’s important to make sure you are in the right emotional state for the move. You can do this by speaking to a psychotherapist regarding your decision and he/she can help you to deal with the real issues involving your parents. You may even visit the community together with your parents. It helps when you keep them in the loop prior to making the move.

Stop second-guessing

Don’t think about what you should or could have done because this will only intensify the guilty feeling. It will make it harder and more stressful for you to even visit or spend time with your loved one at the community. Stop wondering on whether you did the right thing and focus on making sure your loved one is getting the best care possible and adjusting to the new environment.

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11 Feb 2017


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