The Adult Child Dilemma: Coping with Guilt When a Parent Moves to Assisted Living

Sunrise Senior Living  |  January 8, 2019
The Adult Child Dilemma: Coping with Guilt When a Parent Moves to Assisted Living
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Caring for an aging parent at home is a rewarding but demanding role. Family caregivers often take this job on while raising their own children and working outside the home. It is a juggling act that is understandably difficult to manage for an extended period.

As a parent’s needs increase, their loved ones often turn to an assisted living community for help. In some cases, it is for a short-term respite stay to allow the family caregiver to take a break. Other times, adult children realize a loved one would enjoy a better quality of life if they moved to an assisted living community.

While adult children usually know this transition will allow a parent to live their best life, they often feel bad about not being able to provide the necessary care and support. Accepting this move and coping with feelings of guilt can be tough.

3 Ways to Overcome Guilt after a Loved One Moves to Assisted Living

If you find yourself in this situation, we have a few ideas to help:

  1. Engage in something positive: When doubt and guilt over your loved one’s move creep in, force yourself to do something positive and productive. Take a quick walk around the neighborhood while listening to uplifting music. Pull out your yoga mat and spend 15 minutes meditating. If you aren’t familiar with this practice, sites like Gaiam can help you get started. Replace guilt and fear with something positive. When you do, you train your mind to accept that you are doing the best thing.
  2. Get involved at the community: From life enrichment activities to improved nutrition, where you live as you grow older is important and assisted living is usually a good solution. You’ll see the benefits firsthand if you get involved at your parent’s assisted living community. Think about what interests and talents you have and volunteer to share them with residents. From flower arranging to computer tutoring, assisted living communities welcome volunteers. You’ll be able to spend meaningful time with your parent while you learn more about the community.
  3. Join an online caregiver support group: Talk therapy is another avenue for learning how to cope with caregiver guilt. Connecting with an online support group will allow you to talk with people who understand and empathize with your situation. Your peers may help you process and overcome the guilt that you are feeling. Busy adult children often find an online support group the easiest option. The convenience of an online support group means you can join conversations in chat rooms from the comfort and privacy of your own home. The Family Caregiver Alliance’s website is a good place to find an online support group.

Answering Questions about Assisted Living

If you are searching for an assisted living community for your parent, we know you likely have many questions. From financing options to starting the process of downsizing, one of our experienced team members will be happy to address your questions and concerns. Call us at 888-434-4648 today!