Feeling guilty about moving a loved one to assisted living or memory support?
Choosing to move a parent or spouse to an assisted living or memory support community is a difficult decision that many people will face at some point. And while you may understand that it’s the right choice, you can still experience feelings of guilt, grief, and even anger. Following are some common thoughts we hear from family members, and counterpoints that can help you make peace with your decision.
“I should be the caregiver” or “I should be able to handle this on my own.”
At some point in life, many of us make a spoken or unspoken promise to take care of our parents – and we assume we’ll always be with our spouses. And while it’s a commitment that comes from deep in our hearts, there’s no way to know what the future holds. Until you have experienced the challenges that come with aging – or caring for an aging parent or spouse with health concerns or dementia – you have no way to know how involved their care may become. It’s OK to acknowledge that your original plans may have been unrealistic, and the care your loved one requires is more than you can handle on your own. And it’s important to remember that taking the best care of them may mean finding a place where they’ll receive the compassionate, professional care and assistance they need.
“I feel like I’ve abandoned my parent/spouse.”
Far from abandoning them, you will both enjoy the opportunity to renew your relationship as you return to your role as a daughter/son or loving spouse rather than a caregiver. Many people find this transition to be fulfilling for everyone as the time you spend together becomes more social and familial rather than task-oriented or focused on caregiving. Plus, you’ll be able to spend as much quality time with your loved one as you choose.
One final note:
Try not to second-guess your decision. If you notice a physical or cognitive decline in your parent or spouse, you may be tempted to think it’s a result of the move and blame yourself. But it’s important to remember that the physical and cognitive changes that come with aging are progressive and would have occurred even if you had kept them at home. On the other hand, if you see your loved one thriving at The Woodlands Inn, you may think it means you didn’t provide good care at home. In that case, remind yourself you did the very best you could for them – including finding compassionate, professional care and the most innovative, engaging, home-like environment available. Then, give yourself some credit.
The best time to choose an assisted living or memory support community is before a crisis forces you to decide. We invite you to take a video tour of The Woodlands Inn by scanning this code with the camera on your smartphone.
Call 978-738-6104 to learn more about our innovative, small-home assisted living and memory support households. We’re here to answer all your questions.