If your parents are moving into assisted living, you can be reassured that help will be available when needed. Community support, amenities and activities can also provide the basis for independence and achieving a high quality of life.
Yet, navigating the senior living journey can also result in a roller coaster of emotions. And one prominent feeling that often surfaces for families during this time is guilt. Unfortunately, if left unchecked, this can overshadow the valid and logical reasons for making this decision. Understanding and addressing this guilt is crucial for the health and well-being of the entire family.
Reasons why there is guilt about assisted living
There are several reasons why guilt may arise when helping your parents find the best solution for care, safety and social interaction. While these feelings may be common for adult children, understanding the why can also help in taking the right steps to move forward.
1. Perceived abandonment
Adult children often struggle with the idea that they’re abandoning their parents. They worry that their loved ones will feel left behind or unloved.
2. Cultural and societal expectations
Certain cultures emphasize the importance of taking care of older parents at home. This can create pressure for the family to provide direct care, even if it’s beyond their capability.
3. Broken promises
In years past, some adult children often promised their parents that they would never “put them in a home”. The guilt stems from the feeling that they’ve broken this promise.
4. Self-imposed expectations
There’s a tendency to compare oneself to others, particularly siblings, friends or even characters in a movie who might be managing to care for their parents at home.
5. Fear of a diminished quality of life
Families might fear that their loved one won’t receive the same level of care or attention in an assisted living community compared to living at home.
Tips for navigating the journey of guilt about assisted living
If you’re experiencing feelings of guilt associated with a move your parents are making to assisted living, remember the goal – to ensure the safety, well-being, and quality of life for your loved ones.
By addressing these feelings directly, seeking support, and reframing your perspective, you can build a positive path forward that strengthens the bonds of the relationship.
Keep the lines of communication open
Encourage honest expression of feelings. It can help everyone to talk about their fears, anxieties and even excitement so perspective and reassurance can be provided.
Understanding the benefits of assisted living and matching them to your parents’ challenges can boost positive feelings. Having assistance, options to be active and opportunities for social interaction can significantly improve their quality of life.
Be kind to yourself
Recognize that feelings of guilt are real and can be painful but they’re not a measure of whether the best decision was made. Every family situation is unique and you’re doing the best you can.
If faced with guilt when making the assisted living decision, talk to friends, family or professionals who can offer suggestions and encouragement. Joining a support group can also provide comfort and understanding.
Reframe your thinking
Instead of seeing it as putting your parents in a community or abandoning them, view it for what it really is – partnering with your loved ones and professionals to make sure proper care and an enriched lifestyle are possible.
Parents often fear their children will not visit as often once they move into assisted living. Make sure your relationship with your parents continues to be strong. Everyone may be happily surprised once familiar roles return and time together can be spent enjoying each other and not completing caregiving tasks.
Recognize that feelings of guilt won’t disappear overnight – even when you know an assisted living community is the best place for your parents to live. With time and support, most families find peace with the decision, especially when they see their loved ones re-engage and thrive.
Retirement living in Wadsworth, Illinois
Galloway Senior Living, locally owned and operated, provides luxury and quality care for families in our community.
Assisted Living at Galloway Senior Living offers beautiful and contemporary private residences that range from alcove studios to two-bedrooms and include high-end stainless-steel appliances, maple hardwood cabinets, cultured marble countertops and thoughtfully curated décor and colors.
Our Memory Care community offers a family kitchen, dining room, walking garden, and lounge.
Our services include:
- 24-hour certified nursing assistants, on-staff licensed nurses, medication management, and on-site physician visits
- COVID-19 safety protocols
- Assistance with daily tasks
- Readily available safe transportation
- A fall-reduction program
- In-unit emergency response systems including an electronic monitoring system for exit doors
- On-site entertainment and activities personalized to reflect the residents’ preferences
- Housekeeping and linen services including personal laundry
Amenities you’ll find at Galloway Senior Living include:
- Country Café and Convenience Store
- Salon and Spa
- Theater with 85” television
- Activity and Craft Center
- Game Room
- Library and Business Center
- Fitness Center
If you or your family is considering retirement living in Wadsworth, Illinois, we hope you will visit our community at Galloway Senior Living. We are a trusted resource and are here to answer any questions.
We also invite you to download our complimentary information, Family Decision Toolkit: How to Choose the Right Senior Living Community.