Dealing with the Guilt of Admitting a Loved One


As your loved one ages, they may outgrow the quality of care that you’re able to provide. Especially as illness and serious conditions develop, you may find that you’re overwhelmed with the amount of time that it takes to care for them. For this reason, more and more families are opting to place their loved ones in nursing homes. These live-in facilities provide around-the-clock care and may even specialize in memory care. Although this is the best solution in many cases, it’s common for family members to feel guilty about the decision to choose a rest home. To help combat these feelings of sadness and guilt, there are a few things that you can do.

Treasure Your Time

Once your loved one is in a nursing home facility, they’ll look forward to your visits. You may feel guilty about the amount of time you’re able to dedicate to them. Instead of beating yourself up over your visits, treasure the time that you do spend together. Engage in quality conversation or participate in one of your loved one’s hobbies. It’s far more important that you spend meaningful time together.

Keep Your Cool

As your loved one ages, you may notice that they aren’t as vibrant as they once were. As you remember how they were in years past, it may cause you to become impatient or angry. Instead of letting your impatience cloud your visits, make sure that you’re well prepared. Get plenty of rest and manage your expectations ahead of time. Take a break if needed, instead of dwelling on your resentment and guilt.

Make Them Comfortable

If your loved one’s time in a nursing home is permanent, make them feel as comfortable as possible. Bring in pictures, frames, flowers, or their favorite blankets to show that you care. When surrounded by their own things and those who cherish them, your loved one will feel much more comfortable in their new home. This will ease your guilt and smooth the transition.

While guilt is a normal reaction to moving your loved one into a nursing home, don’t let it take over. With these tips, you’ll ease those feelings and be able to enjoy what time you do spend with your family member.

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