Anticipating a Transition into a Care Setting … Feeling Guilty?

Whether you are taking care of a spouse or a parent, there may come a time that you recognize you can no longer manage the level of care your loved one requires. Feelings of guilt, resentment, exhaustion, fear and a long list of other emotions come and go—sometimes they’re all present at the same time! Perhaps a promise was made or a long-term commitment to not place your loved one in a care setting, and now the possibility or even the necessity of having to do just that is becoming a reality.

Your line in the sand as to your tolerance level will change almost daily, and this is different for everyone. Give yourself permission to know your limits. Besides obvious caregiver exhaustion, reasons that prompt a move can include soaring costs or limited resources for in-home care, or perhaps the caregiver is no longer healthy enough physically or emotionally to provide care, or maybe the care receiver is no longer safe at home. The team you have in place providing care and support is dwindling or not able to fill in all the necessary care needs… and next steps may be inevitable.

Identify your support team, and also who is not supportive. Assurances such as “I appreciate your support at this difficult time” should become part of your vocabulary as you deal with family dynamics. Figure out who can walk beside you as you make this decision and also help you put details into place as a transition is scheduled:

• Planning ahead reduces the chance of you having to make a rushed decision, which does not always yield the best outcome.
• Working with a professional who can guide you will allow you to be a smart, informed consumer as you put your plan in place.

Learning to be a partner in care with a care community takes time and patience. Having realistic expectations and acknowledging there will be a transition time for the caregiver and the care receiver will help pave the way for success. Remember: there is no perfect care setting… and if guilt creeps up on you, bear in mind how difficult things were at home prior to the move—this will allow you to stay focused and continue to adjust.

Article provided by Senior Care Solutions Staff


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