Navigating the Guilt of Moving a Loved One to Assisted Living

Caregiving is fast becoming a second job for many families who have senior loved ones living at home. Taking care of the house inside and out, and providing daily care with personal hygiene, assisting with mobility, chauffeuring them to appointments and preparing meals can devour hours each week and stress out even the most dedicated family caregiver. Eventually, many realize the best solution for everyone is assisted living, but the associated guilt can be a serious hurdle to overcome. When facing the guilt of moving a loved one to assisted living take some tips from experts to make it easier for everyone.

Tips for navigating the guilt of moving a loved one to assisted living

Accept your limitations

One of the first feelings of guilt comes from the admission that you have reached your limit. In reality, many caregivers have already pushed themselves beyond their limits when they arrive at the conclusion that assisted living is a good idea.

No one wants to give up on a loved one, but over time the multiple responsibilities of caregiving, family rearing and work can push even the most dedicated to their breaking point, resulting in health and other problems that only add to the burden. The trick is to realize that assisted living isn’t the end of the road, but the best next step to help a senior retain independence and enjoy life in a way that they couldn’t at home. In so doing, you acknowledge that you did your utmost and now it’s time to move up to a higher level of care.

For more about caregiver limitations, check out our blog, “5 Signs It’s Time to Have ‘The Talk’ About Senior Living Options.”

Concentrate on their new independence

Although seniors often feel they will lose their independence if they move to assisted living, the truth is that living at home may actually make them more dependent. Seniors who require daily assistance must often wait for a caregiver to help dress and bathe and may struggle to get transportation to appointments and other places they need to go. As a result, their independence wanes as their dependence grows, and they have feelings of guilt about becoming a burden.

In a luxury assisted living community like Thrive Senior Living, however, building independence is a priority and residents quickly find they can do so much more every day simply because they always have help at hand — and it’s guilt free! Learn more in our blog, “How Assisted Living Improves Quality of Life in Retirement.”

For more information, download our “Family Decision Toolkit”

Rediscover quality time with your older loved one

Moving to assisted living has many benefits but one that you may not even realize beforehand is that you and your loved one will be able to really enjoy time together because most of the caregiving responsibilities are already taken care of.

Just imagine visiting without having to clean, do laundry or cook meals. Instead, you and your loved one can watch a movie together, go for walks around the grounds, enjoy entertainment, or just spend time talking and catching up. This is just one of the reasons to consider assisted living described in our blog, “At-Home Care or Senior Living? Making the Right Choice.”

Embrace the transition

Like any big life change, moving to assisted living will require a transition that can be downright frightening for your loved one. Going from living alone to living in a bustling community will take time and understanding for everyone involved, especially your loved one.

To help make the transition easier and assuage feelings of guilt, try some of the tips in our blog, “Helping Parents Make the Transition to Assisted Living,” including involving your loved one from the get go, taking the time to help them choose the best community, helping make their new apartment a cozy and comfortable home, and being available to help them meet new friends.

Partner with the community

Often feelings of guilt come when a senior loved one believes they are being abandoned to strangers, creating a lot of stress and hurt feelings all around. One way to show that is not at all the case is to actively partner with professionals in the assisted living community so your loved one knows you still have their back and are in charge.

Taking the time to visit often, checking in via telephone, and learning the names and responsibilities of caregivers can go a long way toward assuring your loved one that you did not desert them and remain their most dedicated caregiver. To get a feel for the different types of assisted living caregivers the article, “Assisted Living Administration and Staff,” offers a comprehensive breakdown.

For more information, download our “Family Decision Toolkit” and contact us to schedule a tour for your transition team.

Thrive Family Decision Toolkit Guide