Coping With Guilt Over A Move To Assisted Living

The process of managing our aging parents’ lives and futures can evoke all kinds of feelings, from denial and fear, to guilt and inadequacy, to confusion and ambivalence. As adult children we suddenly find ourselves in the role of caregiver for our elderly parents, who have been the ones to care for us. This reversal of roles brings up many different emotions for both parent and child.  When the decision to move to assisted living has been made, it will be very challenging for an elderly parent to adjust to a new life, to make new acquaintances, to learn to trust new caregivers, to adapt to a new schedule and a new living space. While they are adjusting to those things, we, as adult children, are shifting our identity to that of decision-maker, while at the same time perhaps struggling with the guilt that comes from admitting that we can’t take care of our parents ourselves.

While moving anyone into a new environment can be an uncomfortable and stressful event, it becomes a little easier if both parties are prepared. Having a comprehensive living will and Health Care Proxy are important. Sufficient health insurance and proper financial planning will help prevent conflict and stress. Planning ahead for a move to assisted living, a move which has huge lifestyle and financial ramifications, can broaden the options, answer many of the questions and clarify some of the issues.

It helps to remember that all of these various emotions are completely typical and normal. Second guessing and judging ourselves can increase our feelings of guilt and add to our burden. Re-thinking our decisions, replaying conversations, and doubting ourselves can all poison the time we do have with our loved ones.

At A Caring Heart we understand that all of these emotions are a normal part of the process. We are here to help make the transition go a little smoother. We are dedicated to helping our clients make good choices. Contact us today.

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