Over 2.5 million older Americans now live in care homes or assisted living. That’s more than the entire population of New Mexico!
If you’re among the growing number of people with a parent in a care facility, you may be experiencing feelings of guilt. Perhaps you’re wondering if you’ll ever feel the same again.
It’s a common problem, and if you’re feeling this way, you’re certainly not alone. That’s why we put together this article, to help you understand and manage your feelings.
Remember It’s for the Best
Assisted living facilities exist to provide quality care for people who need it. You may feel guilty now, but there’s likely to be a part of you that knows you’ve made the right decision.
Taking care of an elderly relative at home can be extremely difficult. And you may not be able to offer the quality of care your parent needs. Keep in mind that you’ve done right by your parent, ensuring they’re safe and well cared for.
Arrange a Visiting Schedule
When a parent moves into an assisted living facility, it’s natural that one of the biggest worries could be a loss of connection. You may feel like you’ve been separated from your loved one and it’s possible that everyday pleasures like meeting for a simple cup of coffee can be taken away.
It can help to arrange a schedule of regular visits. This will help you feel more of a connection and ward off feelings of guilt. You could even collaborate with relatives and friends to draw up a visiting rotation, ensuring your loved one receives visits most days of the week.
Plan Some Special Events
As well as the standard visits, you can shake things up a little by arranging some fun events. This could be something simple, like a visit over the holidays, or something more exciting, like a trip to a nearby attraction.
Just because a parent has checked into an assisted living facility, that doesn’t mean there aren’t still plenty of great times ahead of you. In fact, care home residents make new memories every day.
This can give both you and your parent something to look forward to and remind you that there are plenty of good times still to come.
Talk With Friends and Family About Your Feelings
If you’re feeling guilt and grief about moving a parent into assisted living, those emotions can eat away at you. You might feel sad and struggle to enjoy everyday activities.
That’s why it’s so important not to keep your feelings bottled up.
Find someone you trust and talk to them about the way you’re feeling. Opening up to friends or family is a great way to process your emotions and get a new perspective on your problems. It’s also a good way to ask for help and support if you need it during this tough time.
Focus on Positive Elements of the Care Facility
It pays to look on the bright side of life. So, when your parent moves into an assisted living facility, it can really help to focus on the good things about their new home.
At Maple Heights, we offer a wide range of quality facilities for our residents to enjoy. There are gardens, a bistro, exercise rooms, and even a theater! Instead of dwelling on your worries, try to think about your loved one enjoying all these amazing utilities.
Many residents make lots of friends too. With people their own age around them, and plenty of activities to enjoy, it’s no wonder lots of new care home residents find their social lives significantly improved.
Remember You’re Doing Your Best
Everyone has times in their lives when they feel that they haven’t measured up to expectations. That’s especially common among people who’ve recently moved parents into an assisted living facility.
But you’re only human. You’ve made a tough decision, but no doubt this is the one that’s right for you and your family.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re trying your hardest and doing your best and it’s important to keep that in mind.
Keep Your Own Needs in Mind
At the moment, it’s natural to be thinking about others. If you’re dealing with guilt over the choice you’ve made, all your emotional energy is likely to be with your parent.
But it’s important to be kind to yourself as well. Your parent wouldn’t want you to be miserable, so be sure to take care of yourself. Perhaps you could enjoy a few treats to help keep your spirits up.
Give Yourself Time
Right now, it might feel like guilt is eating you up. Perhaps you’re struggling to focus on work, family life, and leisure activities, unable to take your mind off these difficult feelings.
Perhaps you’ve tried talking to family and focusing on the positives. But nothing is working.
In times like these, it’s a good idea to remember the old saying, “time is the best healer.” Things may seem difficult now, but over the coming weeks and months, things will likely start to seem a lot better. Give yourself a little while to get used to the changes and process your feelings, and things will soon start looking brighter.
Choose a Facility to Set Your Mind at Ease
Of course, the best way to feel secure in your choice is to know your loved one is safe and happy in a top-quality care facility. When you know they’re doing well in their new home, you can be happy, too.
Maple Heights is the perfect place for assisted living in Washington, DC.
Reach out to us today to schedule a tour, discuss your needs, and find out how we can help.