Coping with Guilt after a Senior Loved One Moves to Assisted Living

  • August 07, 2019

Guilt is an emotion adult children commonly experience when it comes time to search for a senior housing community for a parent. Adult children frequently berate themselves for not finding a way to care for their aging parent at home. Even if you’ve done your research and worked together to find an assisted living community that best meets the older adult’s needs, you may still find yourself feeling badly.

If an older adult in your family is preparing for a move to assisted living, these tips can help you manage the emotional side of this transition.

Managing Caregiver Guilt

  1. Focus on the benefits: Assisted living residents benefit from a wide range of services and support. While the idea of having them live away from home might be difficult, older adults often say this is a move they wished they had made sooner. The companionship of peers, access to activities and outings, as well as nutritious meals all help to improve quality of life for residents. There is also the peace of mind that comes from knowing caregivers are always nearby if needed.
  2. Engage in productive activities: If you are like most family caregivers, a big chunk of your schedule has been filled with completing personal care tasks and running errands for the senior. When you find yourself getting bogged down with guilt, and maybe even fear, do something productive with your time. Take a walk. Practice yoga. Plant a garden. Visit with a friend. It will help you retrain your brain while also giving your spirit a lift.
  3. Reconnect with friends: Family caregivers frequently lose touch with friends because the days are simply too busy. As you are helping your senior loved one prepare for their move, start calling or texting friends to schedule a time to catch up once moving day is over. They will likely be glad to hear from you, and it will give you something to look forward to during the transition period.
  4. Talk with community staff: Going from being responsible for a senior loved one’s physical needs back to being their adult child will provide you with new opportunities. Once the move is over, you might want to look for ways to volunteer at the community where your loved one resides. It will help you feel more connected to your family member, while also giving you an opportunity to get to know the staff better.
  5. Trust your research: Adult children often wonder if they’ve chosen the right community for their loved one. It’s an understandable concern, especially for family members who aren’t familiar with assisted living. If you’ve done your research and taken your time making a decision, chances are you’ve found a quality assisted living community. Don’t start second-guessing the decision. Keep in mind, too, that if your family member turns out not to like the community, you can always try another assisted living location.

Exceptional Senior Living at Five Star

As the name implies, Five Star Senior Living communities set a high bar for care and services. From our innovative approach to dining to our commitment to holistic living, residents enjoy the highest quality of care at Five Star. Call us today at (617) 796-8387 to learn more or schedule a private tour!
 


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