Although you have thought about it a hundred times, you still feel overwhelming guilt about considering assisted living in Vernon Hills for your loved ones. Changing environments requires significant amounts of adjustment. Furthermore, seniors may feel anxious and insecure when entering uncharted territory. They view these communities as a threat to their privacy and independence.
Breaking down their walls can be incredibly challenging. Sometimes, there can be a lot of resistance, and family members feel guilty for even considering it. Should you cave in to their desires or try harder, even if it means dealing with guilt? Convincing your loved ones to move into assisted living should not be something to feel guilty about.
Convincing your loved ones to give up their home can be heartbreaking for everyone, not just your parents. As much as you’d like to honor their wishes, unfortunately, their age can compromise their health and safety. The dilemma creates an influx of strong emotions, one of which is guilt.
Guilt is a natural response, and the source of it can be internal or external. External is when there’s resistance from your loved ones or being judged by other family members for passing the responsibility to an assisted living community. Meanwhile, it can also be internal. Assuming your senior loved ones consent, you can’t help but feel bad because you couldn’t fulfill your duty as their primary caregiver.
Regardless of the source of your guilt, it’s important to know that guilt is part of the process. Nevertheless, even though the emotion can be uncomfortable, you have to look at the bigger picture and go back to your topmost priority – your loved ones’ health.
Your parents are responsible for raising you. They set the rules, and you’re expected to obey them for your own safety. However, as they enter into old age, the tables are turned. The elderly become your responsibility. Part of that responsibility is prioritizing their safety above everything else.
Transitioning to an assisted living community will be challenging because the elderly have negative perceptions of it. In some cases, they will ask you to promise not to move them into an assisted living facility.
Make sure you do not make promises you cannot keep. Even if they are well and healthy now, keep in mind that it may not always be that way.
Problems can arise unexpectedly, and sometimes an assisted living community is the best option. The decisions you make should be based on what is important and what they need at the moment. If you made promises years ago, they may bring it up and try to negotiate their way out of it.
The aging process is not the same for everyone. It’s possible that your parents may compare their condition to other aging family members who opted to stay in their homes. Make them understand that every case is unique.
Don’t feel guilty that you’re not doing the same for your loved ones because you cannot compare their health needs to other people's. For example, the demands of an Alzheimer’s patient are a far cry from the needs of a senior with no memory issues.
A loved one with Alzheimer’s needs to be monitored regularly, especially since the disease is progressive and the symptoms worsen over time. Their forgetfulness and episodes of confusion can be detrimental to their health. They may take the wrong medication dosage, leave the stove on, or wander and get lost.
If you plan to keep your loved ones at home, you have to shoulder the responsibility of being their caregiver 24/7 to keep them safe. Obviously, this is not a feasible option. Choosing comfort over safety could lead to hazardous consequences.
Being a caregiver is a full-time job. If you choose to be one, it means you have to give up other obligations and commit your time to care for the elderly. Unfortunately, dedicating 100% of your time and attention to your loved ones can affect your job, career, and role as a partner and parent (if you have a spouse or children). Sacrificing yourself could put your health at risk. Remember, the goal is not to be Superman. You can delegate the responsibility to trained and skilled staff who know what they’re doing.
Caring for your parents may be your responsibility, but it doesn’t mean you have to be home with them 24/7.
There are different ways to meet these responsibilities, and one of them is by moving your elderly parents to an assisted living community. It’s a place where they can receive care that family members cannot provide. Even though you are not physically present, you are still fulfilling your responsibility but only in a different way.
The hardest part is the first step, but once they start to dip their toes into assisted living, they’ll realize that the community and its benefits are much better than what they would have if they stayed in their homes.
The staff members are trained and skilled to give your parents the care and attention they need. Plus, they are available 24 hours a day, giving family members peace of mind that their loved ones are in good hands. Assisted living communities encourage social interaction and engagement, which minimizes the risk of depression and social isolation, which is common among the elderly.
It can be hard to deal with guilt, but if you try to understand what’s at stake. You can’t keep spreading yourself too thin. It’s also not healthy for you and everyone else in the family. Remember that their demands increase with age; that’s why it’s best to introduce assisted living to your loved ones.
Trust us; they’ll thank you for it. At Senior Living Experts, we can help you find a community for your aging parents. We specialize in guiding you toward making the best possible decision for your loved ones–completely free of charge. Contact us today to learn more.