Dealing With Nursing Home Guilt And Other Difficult Emotions
How do you put someone in a nursing home when you feel overcome with guilt, shame, anxiety, or a sense of loss? It’s a question faced by many family caregivers. Guilt is incredibly common in this situation. It’s natural to feel like you’re letting your parent down, especially if you’ve been criticized or berated by your aging father or elderly mother. Guilt trip or no guilt trip, you may feel extra regret if you’ve made a promise that now must be broken. And, paradoxically, your guilt may be fueled by positive feelings, such as relief that you’ll have more time for yourself or that your mom or dad will finally be in a safe place and receiving appropriate care. The whole process can feel like an emotional rollercoaster with confusing loops, uncomfortable turns, terrifying drops, and unexpected highs. Some people feel these emotions even when their parents are cooperative and enthusiastic.
But regardless of how common or normal these emotions are, they can also be harmful. They can zap you of energy, make you feel isolated, increase your stress, and make it hard to think clearly. In some people, they can even lead to depression. When you suffer from caregiver guilt, feelings can come on strong and last for a long timeunless you take healthy steps to cope with them. Here are some tips for dealing with guilt over nursing home placement:
Making The Transition To A Nursing Home Go As Smoothly As Possible
When the time finally comes to move your parent into long-term residential care, you may have a lot of intense emotions, such as fear, doubt, excitement, and guilt. After all, it will probably also be a highly emotional time for your mom or dad. Your parent may feel sad, angry, scared, or confused. He or she may lash out with harsh words or give you the silent treatment. So it’s important to prepare yourself and your parent for what may be a stressful few days. The following tips can help you make the best of this challenging situation:
Helping A Parent Make The Transition Into Assisted Living
Moving to a new home is one of lifes most stressful events. Helping a parent transition from living in their own home to an assisted living community, even if they are ready and willing to move, can be challenging for the entire family. Employing a few strategies before, during, and after the move can help ease the process and prepare your parent for this new phase of life.
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How To Help Parents Transition To Assisted Living
September 10, 2014 by Hearthside Senior Living
Beyond food, clothing, shelter, financial support, emotional support, and on and on the list goes, your parents gave you one amazing and priceless thing: life! Although youll always be their child, now that youre an adult yourself, its time to give back to your parents. That might mean treating them to dinner, helping them run errands and attend doctor appointments, or supporting them as they transition to an assisted living facility. Were here to help with that last point. If you need to know how to help parents transition to assisted living, please scroll down. We have a variety of helpful tips to share with you.
After decades of living in their own home, it might be difficult for your parents to relinquish full control of their life and embrace the changes that come with assisted living. We recommend the following tips:
Dont feel guilty when you say goodbye to your parents on that first day. There are new friends to be made, new events to attend, and a new chapter to start. This is an exciting change that should leave your parents feeling happier, healthier, and reinvigorated.
If youre looking for a senior living facility in the Midwest, be sure to check out Hearthside Senior Living Place. Our eight senior living facilities are located in Missouri, Arkansas, and Tennessee. If you would like to take a tour of one of our facilities, please .
How Long Will It Take To Move A Parent To Assisted Living
Set realistic goals about what you can accomplish in a day. Moving a family from one house to another might be doable in one, marathon day. You might be exhausted the next day, but at least all of your things are in one place.
When it comes to moving your 84-year-old mom or dad, a marathon, one-day move is less likely to be possible. Keep in mind what you and they can accomplish physically and emotionally in a day. Unless you absolutely have to, dont rush it.
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When Is It Time For Assisted Living Signs For Caregivers
If youre doubling as a primary caregiver for your parent or loved one, you already struggle with a lot.
At a certain point, this responsibility can become overwhelming especially if you also work full time and care for the rest of your family.
Although you have the best intentions, you may not be able to provide your loved one with the experienced care and attention they need.
According to a study conducted by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, 35% of caregivers say their role provides extreme levels of emotional stress. Nearly 60% of caregivers say their duties directly impact their career by cutting their work hours. Others take leaves of absence, switch to part-time, or lose out on their own benefits.
This may seem like a small price to pay for your parent or loved one, but that doesnt make it any less stressful.
Caregiving is a full-time job and a very stressful one both emotionally and physically.
If youre a caregiver wondering when is it time for assisted living, here are some signs it might be time:
- Youre feeling isolated from work, friends, and the rest of your family.
- Youre losing sleep on a regular basis.
- Youre missing work which is impacting your financial capabilities.
- You lack a proper support system and no one is helping you with caregiving duties.
- Your mental health is suffering or youre experiencing depression or anxiety.
- Youre overworked, weary, or otherwise burnt out.
Enlist Help From Others
Consider how you feel when your partner tells you your pants are unflattering compared to how it might feel coming from a dear friend. The messenger matters. Sometimes changing the messenger can make a world of difference. Moreover, by involving other people, you make the message more compelling and keep the family narrative consistent. Some people to enlist for support include:
- A leader your loved one trusts, such as a pastor.
- A trusted physician. Encourage the doctor to highlight the dangers of continuing to live alone.
- Another family member with whom your loved one has a good relationship. Does mom always listen to her favorite son? Do the grandkids have a lot of sway with dad? Ask them for help.
If your loved one still refuses, a family intervention might be helpful, but proceed with caution. The goal should be to convey concernnot make your loved one feel forced or bullied.
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Add A Personal Touch To The New Living Space
One sure-shot way of helping your aging parent adjust to the new environment is by placing familiar items and keepsakes in their assisted living suite or apartment.
For instance, if your parent is accustomed to having a Bible, other books, music CDs, and a family photo at their bedside, do the same in their new living space.
Encourage your senior loved one to share their layout preferences and allow them to make decisions pertaining to their apartment decor.
Get their inputs on the furniture arrangement and the choice of pictures and keepsakes. Involve them in setting up the room but make sure its functional and safe.
Cloning the home environment will help them feel at home in the new environment.
Preparing For The Conversation
Do your homework. Before you initiate the conversation about senior care, prepare yourself:
- Create a list of your concerns for your aging parent. Are you worried, for example, that their home is no longer a safe environment for them? Are they having some health problems? Are they starting to have trouble with activities of daily living, such as dressing, grooming, bathing or managing their medications? You may want to discuss your concerns with other family members to get their perspective as well. Write down all your observations.
- Educate yourself. As you learn more about retirement communities and senior care options such as assisted living, youll have a better understanding of what will fit your aging parent best. Admitting just how much help your loved one needs isnt easy, and you may find yourself downplaying just how serious their need for help really is. But be as objective as you can. You and your parents may have concerns about how communities handle emergencies and health issues such as outbreaks of flu or COVID-19. Most community websites have information about their safety protocols, and you can always call and ask.
- Learn how important their living situation is for seniors. Where you live influences how well you live as you grow older meaning location and environment have an effect on everything from physical safety to mental health to longevity. The more you learn about this, the better prepared youll be.
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Delay Selling The Home
One way to reduce the emotional trauma of moving is to hold off on selling the family home. Moving is hard enough without asking your parents to live in a house that a realtor is showing to prospective buyers. If they have the assets to finance a move in the short runor if you can lend them the deposit or entrance feethe best plan of action is usually to move first and sell later.
Tour Ahead Of Time To Ensure A Smooth Transition
An important way to ensure a smooth transition is making sure their new community is a good fit before they ever move in. As you tour the different senior living communities, pay close attention to how staff interacts with residents, meet the management team and ask as many questions as possible about the living facilities, dining, healthcare, included programs and services.
Summit Pointe Senior Living is the only established Marion senior living community that offers transitioning from Independent to Assisted Living without having to move rooms or buildings. Your family is our family that includes your pets too. We pride ourselves in providing a senior living community that supports an independent lifestyle in a vibrant, active setting. Schedule a tour today and let us help you navigate your senior living options.
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Helping Loved Ones Adjust To The Move
The move into an assisted living community can be stressful and even frightening. Many older adults fear that they’ll be forgotten and alone. Adult children can play a critical role in helping relatives adjust successfully. First, understand and acknowledge that this is a life-changing move. Reassure your loved ones that they won’t be left alone.
When the big day arrives, have family members help pack up mom and dad and move together. Make it a celebration, perhaps with a brunch before the move. Let them know that nearby loved ones will visit frequently and that those living farther away will stay in touch regularly. Make good on those promises.
Think About Transitioning Early
One key component to a smooth transition to an assisted living community is to start searching for the right place before the imperative to move is upon you. Ideally, you and your loved one should be planning for and considering options for months or even years in advance. Taking a longer view lowers everyones stress level and allows more time to adjust and make more informed choices.
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Placing A Parent In A Nursing Home: How To Make It Easier
Nobody wants to be faced with the challenge of placing a parent in a nursing home. After all, it’s hard knowing that your mom or dad needs a high level of round-the-clock care, something that you may not be able to provide on your own. This situation often comes with conflicted emotions like guilt, regret, and a sense of relief. How do you remain sensitive to your parent’s feelings while moving ahead with what you know must be done?
As a first step, it helps to acknowledge the fact that putting a loved one in a nursing home is a fairly common challenge. Each year, millions of other people like you face this dilemma. In fact, more than one in three Americans over the age of 65 will probably require nursing home care at some point. That means you aren’t alone in dealing with this issue. It also means that a lot of resources are available to guide and support you.
This article will help you learn when a parent needs assisted living or nursing home care, how to get a parent into a nursing home, and why it’s important to be kind to yourself throughout the process. A lot of the following information also applies if you’re faced with the situation of putting your spouse in a nursing home. By understanding what’s involved, you and your loved one may have an easier time going through the process.
Instant Access To Free Guide
Are you considering assisted living for yourself or a loved one but are hesitant about the cost? Assisted living costs, services and amenities vary greatly among the last and most expensive communities, and costs are higher in some states than others.
This guide will answer questions you may have about the costs of assisted living and recommend resources to help you pay for it.
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Preparing To Transition Parents Into Assisted Living
There comes a time in the lives of some older adults when independent living is no longer an option. However, it can be difficult for a family to make the decision to move a loved one into a community, especially when the individual feels that he or she is getting along just fine.
Hiring an at home caregiver might be an option, however, when an individual has a condition that requires 24-hour monitoring or skilled nursing care, moving to a long-term care community might be the best option. While it can be tough, transitioning can be made easier with some planning. Consider these tips and suggestions for how to transition parents who require more than at home care.
Be sure you make visits before the care is necessary. If you anticipate your parent or loved one will need to move to an assisted living or long-term care community, consider visiting various locations. If your parent can visit with you, they can get a first-hand look and ask questions. Involving your parent allows them to have input into the process. Not all communities are the same, so visiting can help you eliminate those that dont appeal to you or your parent.
Preparation can go a long way when transitioning your parents to a community. But, the benefits are endless. It will limit worry and stress, and ensure that everyone is on the same page during the transition.
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What Should I Pack For Assisted Living
Okay, the next steps have to do with the actual move. Most ALF organizations will provide you with a list of things that you should / can bring to your new home and a new community. This can include everything from important papers and legal documents to the sizes of furniture that would fit in the room.
Basically, your aging parent is moving to a new home and probably downsizing. So, anything that you would normally bring to a new home is what you would be taking to that new apartment in the ALF.
But, just to help you along, heres a general checklist for you.
- Furniture you want to make your new apartment in the ALF as comfortable as possible so I would encourage you to bring your parents bed, favorite chair and/or loveseat, their TV, table, etc. Of course, the furniture has to fit within the floor plan of the space that they are moving into.
- Personal and Important Items besides furniture, you want to personalize the apartment as much as possible. And that means favorite photos, paintings, books and knick knacks. Dont forget holiday items like Christmas ornaments, etc.
- Your Pet yes, there are many ALFs that allow you to bring your pet. If your parent has a dog, cat, bird, etc. I would strongly suggest that you look for ALFs that allow pets. The emotional upset of moving from their home AND losing a loving companion can be devastating for many seniors. Read more about how to help your elderly parents keep their pets.
When Someone You Care For Refuses To Consider Assisted Living
Doctors, loved ones and friends may realize it’s time to move a parent into an assisted living community. But it’s not uncommon for the parent to reject the idea altogether. Here are five tips to help a reluctant loved one come around to see that the move is in her best interest.
Ease Into the IdeaDon’t act as if you made the decision unilaterally. Go easy at first, broaching the idea gently and seek your parent’s feedback.
Propose ToursPropose touring an assisted living community together. If there’s much resistance, drop it for the time being and return to the idea on another day.
Express Your ConcernsIn a non-threatening way, point to reasons for the move – a fall, difficulty keeping up with daily tasks, failing health, for instance – and make it clear that you and others worry about your parent.
Emphasize Positive Aspect of Assisted LivingEmphasize that your parent will make new friends, become involved in social activities and outings, have ready access to transportation but won’t have to deal with home maintenance and will get help with daily activities.
Enlist Help From Trusted Friends & FamilyTry to get a friend of your parent or a trusted clergy member to help her see the wisdom in moving to assisted living.
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