Making the decision for assisted living care
The time has come to make one of the most important decisions about your mom’s health: to move her into an assisted living facility. And you are probably wondering, is this the right decision? Am I abandoning my responsibility to care for her? Will it work out the way I hope it will? Not to mention wondering how you will help mom deal with her worries and uncertainties, because the decision for assisted living comes with a flood of emotions for you both. It represents a big change in everyone’s life.
Not only are you talking about a change in location, but a reversal in roles, where you become the caretaker for someone who once took care of you. Being in charge of important decisions for mom’s care comes with a heavy emotional toll, and when it comes to something so crucial, you naturally want to get it right. You only want the best for mom, and you hope that your decisions will achieve that. But no matter how right the decision is, it’s normal to feel guilty about being away from her. There are three reasons, though, that you don’t need to feel guilty about choosing assisted living.
Mom deserves top-notch care
I know it’s very common for us to think that we are the best possible caretaker for mom because of our close connection to her, there are simply too many things that are outside the realm of our ability. We don’t have the training and knowledge that can be necessary to help mom through some of the challenges of old age. We don’t have the expertise to assist mom right away if something should happen unexpectedly. And despite how much time we devote to mom, we are not solely caretakers. We have many other responsibilities that demand our attention and time.
Sometimes, the very best thing we can do for mom is to allow her access to a higher level of daily care than we can provide. With the focused and knowledgeable care in a senior living facility, she will be able to get the care that best suits her needs and that is ready for any situation. Caretakers who have experience in working with seniors can help not only mom, but you as well, understand the road ahead so you can be better prepared.
You need to be a strong emotional support for mom
Any of you that have been in a caretaking role know that it is a physically, and most importantly, emotionally demanding job. And in many cases of caring for our own parents, we may be trying to do everything caretaking entails while also working at another job, taking care of our own household, and nurturing our other important relationships. The stress of trying to do all this eventually takes a toll on our physical and emotional well-being.
Putting mom into assisted living protects your own well-being, which will actually allow you to be more present for mom and a stronger emotional resource for her. Even with the assisted living facility and workers tending to her physical needs on a daily basis, she will still need strong emotional support and connection, which you can provide that for her because you have tended to your own needs instead of depleting yourself to the point of exhaustion and frustration. Imagine how much more enjoyable and meaningful your visits with mom will be when you are well-rested, clear-headed, and fulfilled in other areas of your life.
You can still be as involved as you want
A common source of guilt when choosing assisted living is feeling like you have abandoned your responsibilities to care for your parent. In truth, you can still have a very active role in the process and be a key figure in helping mom get the best care. You can visit frequently. At our locations here in Maryland, we have an open door policy and encourage you to come by often. You can be in contact with the home regularly for updates and discussions about the best decisions for her care. You can ensure that mom is getting the most out of her new environment. You can be the strong leader and advocate for the care she deserves. The only difference is that now you have a support team to help with the day-to-day care so you can focus on the bigger picture and navigating the best path for her.
Stay focused on mom’s care and not your guilt
I know that you may never be able to completely get rid of feelings of guilt, but I want to encourage you to find ways to move past it so that you can stay focused on what’s best for mom’s care. Having an objective third party to talk to can help you see things from a more logical place. And even writing things down sometimes can help you process your emotions on a blank page while sorting out what’s actually best from a health perspective and not an emotional one.
Be sure to check out wellhomed.com/contact/ to schedule a tour so you can see for yourself how wonderful senior living can be.