Encouraging a parent to move to a retirement community can be a difficult decision riddled with feelings of guilt, anxiety and grief. At the same time, many caregivers report feeling relief, which makes feelings of guilt even worse.
Here are a few things to keep in mind to help cope with feelings of guilt when suggesting a loved one consider moving to a retirement community.
Realize that you did not cause your loved one to get older and experience age-related challenges
Iconic actress Betty Davis is credited for saying, “Getting older is not for sissies.” So true! There is nothing any one of us can do to stop the clock. We all get older and experience age-related trials. It is not your fault your parent may need care at a retirement community. Regardless of anything you have or have not done, your loved one would still have to deal with aging and all the challenges that go along with having many birthdays.
Recognize that you have your loved one’s best interests at heart
Being a caregiver for an older loved one is a huge responsibility. Perhaps you’ve had past conversations with your parent and the senior wishes to receive care at home instead of retirement housing. Sometimes this request cannot be safely honored when care needs exceed what can be reasonably provided by a caregiver with little to no medical experience. Reaching out to a retirement community for help is the responsible thing to do. Assisted Living homes will provide your older loved one with the care and engagement that they require.
Take time to acknowledge and appreciate that you are doing your best and making the best decisions with or for your loved one
It takes a strong person to realize when he/she is over his/her head. Caregivers are often forced to make decisions in situations never before encountered and handle matters that have no clear right or wrong answers. Sometimes an individual’s needs are simply too great to be safely met by a loved one providing care at home. The last thing a caregiver wants to do is feel pressured to choose a retirement community while in “crisis mode” following a health issue.
Seeking retirement community care can result in better quality of life…for everyone
Helping a loved one move to a retirement community will ensure the senior will have his/her care needs properly managed and addressed. The icing on the cake is that the best retirement communities provide numerous opportunities to support residents’ mental and spiritual needs, in addition to providing physical care services, allowing them to enjoy a higher quality of life.
When a caregiver is no longer responsible for assisting with daily, time-consuming requirements like bathing and dressing which are provided at a retirement community, family members actually can enjoy spending quality time with older loved ones.
Maintain balance in your life
If you are a caregiver, remember to take care of yourself to help avoid burnout or stress-induced health challenges. In addition to older loved ones, you may have multiple people and relationships in your life such as children, siblings, spouses and friends. Caregiving can take a majority of time and energy. A retirement community can remove these challenges and provide important time to maintain social connections, which are essential for emotional health. In other words, you are allowed to have a life and relationships outside of caregiving.
Seeking retirement community care can be a winning situation for both sides, so put aside the guilt and regret.
Learn more about retirement community living with Country Meadows
Country Meadows has nine locations in Pennsylvania and one campus location in Frederick, Maryland. Often referred to as one of the best retirement communities in the area, we offer a wide range of services to serve a variety of resident needs. The services within our independent senior living residences include restorative care, rehabilitation, personal care and assisted living, memory support and independent living. We’re also a pet friendly senior living community! If you or a loved one are beginning the retirement planning journey and would like more information about our retirement community, please contact us today. Our co-workers can provide details on the services we offer, help you to schedule a tour of our retirement community and answer any other questions you might have.