Coping with Guilt after a Senior Moves to Assisted Living

Sunrise Senior Living  |  August 19, 2019
Coping with Guilt after a Senior Moves to Assisted Living
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Caregiving for a senior parent can be a rewarding but demanding role. It is common for a family caregiver to juggle this role with a busy career and the needs of their own family. This balancing act is understandably difficult to manage.

As an aging parent’s needs increase, adult children often turn to an assisted living community for support. Sometimes it is a short-term respite stay to allow the family caregiver to take a break, and other times it is a permanent move.

While families usually know this transition will allow a loved one to live their best quality of life, they often feel bad about not being able to provide the care the senior needs at home. It can be tough for loved ones to cope with these feelings of guilt. If you find yourself in this situation, we have a few ideas to help.

4 Ways to Overcome Family Caregiver Guilt

1. Trust you’ve made an informed choice.

Feeling confident in your decision-making process can help make the transition easier. Before you start the search for an assisted living community, educate yourself about the benefits of this type of senior care. Also prepare a list of questions to ask each community you visit. Doing so will give you more confidence when making the final decision.

From life enrichment and wellness programs to well-balanced meals, the services offered by an assisted living community improve the quality of a senior’s life.

2. Replace guilt with something positive.

When you find doubt, fear, or guilt over your loved one’s move creeping into your mind, do something productive. Take a quick walk around the neighborhood while listening to uplifting music. Pull out your yoga mat and spend 15 minutes meditating. Sites like Gaiam can help you learn how to meditate if you don’t already know. When you replace guilt with something positive, you train your mind to accept you are doing the right thing.

3. Find ways to get involved at the assisted living community.

If a big chunk of your week is currently spent caring for your senior family member, you might be looking forward to having free time again. Don’t feel guilty about it. Caregivers often lead stressful, hectic lives. It’s perfectly understandable to welcome some relief.

Once your life is on a more even keel, you might want to explore ways to get more involved at your senior loved one’s community. Most welcome volunteers in a variety of capacities.

4. Connect with a caregiver support group.

Talking with people who understand your situation may help you process and overcome the guilt you are feeling. Many busy adult children find an online support group the easiest option. You can join the conversation in chat rooms at your convenience from the comfort and privacy of your own home. The Family Caregiver Alliance and ALZConnected are two good resources for connecting with a support group.

Finally, making time to create a thoughtful moving plan may help you manage your fear and guilt. This article can help you get started. We also invite you to call Sunrise at 888-434-4648 with any questions about senior living!