Guilt is a complicated emotion. For a family caregiver, feeling guilty after moving a loved one into an assisted living community is a common, natural response. Along with feeling guilty for moving your loved one in the first place, you might still be feeling residual guilt from your caregiving duties. Feeling like you could have done more, you should have asked for more help, that you didn’t ask for help…all of these factors lead to a sometimes debilitating feeling of guilt.
However, it’s important to remember that the decision you’ve made did not come lightly. Caring for elderly parents, especially when you’re also caring for your own family, can involve duties that leave you with very little time to attend to your own needs. Not only that, but sometimes you might not be entirely qualified to perform some of the daily tasks your loved one needed assistance with, which can possibly lead to dangerous situations for all those involved.
Losing the Feeling of Caregiver Guilt
It’s important to remember that the decision to move a loved one to an assisted living community was made because he or she needed full-time care in a safe, comfortable environment. Your reasons for this decision could have been due to your loved one’s continued decline in health, or maybe because of the financial toll caregiving was taking on your family. Many family caregivers put their careers on hold in an effort to provide the amount of care their loved one requires, which can lead to stress that threatens their own health.
Sometimes caregivers feel as though they should have made a different decision, especially when they know their loved one may have wanted to age in place in the home instead. However, it’s important to focus on the positives of the move and how your loved one is now in the best environment possible for his or her needs.
Assisted Living Improves Your Loved One’s Quality of Life
In an assisted living community, all your loved one’s healthcare needs will be attended to by a caring, professional staff. You have peace of mind that help is available around the clock, especially should an accident occur.
In time, your loved one will adjust and flourish in this new way of life. Many residents report they wish they would have made the move sooner, and that they feel healthier and stronger than they have in several years. At an assisted living community, residents enjoy healthy meals, a variety of social events and activities, help with housekeeping tasks, access to fitness classes and lifelong learning opportunities, and so much more above and beyond the help they need with daily living activities.
Once you’re relieved of your caregiving duties, you can focus on building your relationship with your parent. Enjoy quality time when you visit, sharing a cup of coffee and some nice conversation. Let go of your caregiver guilt, move on and enjoy the valuable time you have with your aging loved one.