Are You a Bad Person for Putting Your Parent in Assisted Living?

For many, one of the most challenging decisions is moving their parents into assisted living. This usually happens once you can no longer care for your loved senior’s needs and the pressure of everyday life gets to you. It does not help that most parents begged their children at least once not to put them in nursing homes. If you placed your parent in an assisted living, does that make you a bad child? Here are 12 things to consider.

Life-changing decision 

For Americans, taking care of their elderly is among their top priorities. Though we tend to take our parents and other loved ones for granted, once they become fragile, we are faced with their mortality. That’s why most people want to give their elderly the best possible care, and sadly, it often involves removing them from their homes. 

Feeling like you gave up on your loved one 

The decision to move your parent or loved one to an assisted living facility is already tough, but others could make it worse. Some relatives will make you feel like a terrible child for giving up on your beloved senior. Others will point out all the horrible things happening at these facilities, leaving you ashamed and filled with guilt. 

What about your life and your limitations? 

Balancing work and life, looking after yourself and your family while caring for older adults, can be overwhelming even for the strongest people. But what if you no longer can’t physically or emotionally care for your parent? What if you promised to care for them until the end, but their condition makes that impossible? 

Some situations are worse than others 

Some will try to push themselves near the breaking point. Still, if you’re dealing with someone with physical disabilities or dementia, the safest solution for everyone is putting them into a facility specialized in caring for seniors with special needs. Remember that if you’re suffering or someone could get injured, it is time to make a decision, regardless of previous promises. 

Soul-crushing guilt 

The lingering feeling of guilt will make you question your decision. It is followed by shame, a sense of failure, and plenty of self-doubt. The upside is that once you decide to put your loved one into assisted living, this feeling will fade away. But they will come to haunt you once your loved one’s condition gets worse. 

Requestions everything 

If people cannot care for themselves, their health will continue declining. You will be left with more questions than ever. For example, you will wonder if your mom would still recognize you if she were still at your home. Seeing our loved ones drift away is heartbreaking, but remember that you did not cause your parent’s illness, and you had no ill intentions while sending them to specialized facilities for seniors. 

Professional care is often necessary

Another thing you should remember is that, more often than not, professional care is a necessity. An aging loved one needs professionals who will know what to do in situations you could not prepare yourself for. While there are other options, you likely chose assisted living because you could not afford round-the-clock care at home. 

One thing you should do 

While your decision regarding assisted living is not wrong, you should do your homework regarding the specific living conditions in the chosen facility. Put effort into finding the best facility instead of beating yourself over a decision that had to be made. Additionally, according to the Administration for Community Living, nearly 60% of older adults will need some form of long-term care, so you are not alone. 

Assisted living comes with benefits 

Regardless of how you feel as a child or a relative, assisted living will give your beloved senior a chance to live (somewhat) independently among their peers. These communities often offer mental stimulation, physical activities, and social connections that could benefit them. 

Observe and speak up 

While visiting your parent at the assisted living facility, watch their behavior, notice if their room is clean, if they have lost weight, and overall, assess their well-being. If you see some changes, speak to other residents and their family members. You can contact the Agency for Health Care Administration or the state ombudsman if needed. 

Be part of the team 

Once your parent is in a facility, you can choose to be their advocate, part of the team fighting to make their life easier. By visiting them and talking to their nurses and other families, your role as a caregiver evolved. If you’re still fighting lingering guilt, it is time to let it go. 

Your best is good enough 

At some point, you have to recognize that you did your best. You cannot be a caregiver if it means destroying your life because that’s not just wrong but unproductive as well. Placing your parent in a home or similar facility does not make you a bad person or a bad child. It makes you a responsible adult since this is not an easy decision. 

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