It’s never easy coping with putting a loved one in a nursing home. Given the option, this is a decision you’d never make.
Many people take the easier way out, providing in-home care for their parents. There are many benefits to this option. Your loved ones get care and supervision in the comfort of their homes. Unfortunately, for most parents, this option doesn’t work for long especially as they get older or their health deteriorates.
Eventually, you have to move your parents into a nursing home.
But even while you know that you’re making the right decision for your loved ones, you can’t help but feel guilty about it.
Are you preparing to move a loved one into a nursing home? Here are a few tips to help you cope.
Be prepared for a range of emotions
When you move your parent into a nursing home, expect a mixture of relief, guilt, sadness, and worry.
Relief that finally your parent finally agrees to move into a nursing home. But soon enough guilt kicks in. You feel bad you didn’t do enough to prevent this change from happening.
You also feel sad that your parent won’t be living in their home anymore. And if they have any health issue you worry if they are going to get the right care at the nursing home. All these emotions are normal given the difficult decision that you have just made.
Stop feeling guilty
The guilt over putting a parent in a nursing home hits really hard because you love your parents and the transition to a nursing home is difficult for you and your loved ones. However, cut yourself some slack. Don’t let the guilt consume you. Always remember that you did what is right for them.
Focus on the benefits a nursing home brings to your parent. They are guaranteed to receive professional care that you’d otherwise not be able to give them yourself. Also, because you don’t have to spend all your time offering your parents day-to-day care, you can focus on spending quality time with them.
Remember that your life matters too. Just as it is important to take care of your parents’ health and well-being, it’s important to take care of yours too. Trying to do everything by yourself will only leave you with burnout and is unsustainable for both of you.
Set expectations and don’t over-promise
Feelings of guilt may convince you to stick to your guns and refuse to even consider a nursing home for your parent. It may sound like the right thing to do but it may have serious consequences on your parent.
You don’t want to put your loved ones at risk of an accident or cause their health to deteriorate due to a lack of proper care. So plan for when the need to move your loved one into a nursing home is necessary. This will help you and your parents cope with the change better.
Find the right home and care
One thing that will make you feel less guilty about moving your loved one into a nursing home, is knowing that you put them in the best facility. Don’t wait until the last minute to scout for a nursing home. The more time to make a decision, the less stressful you will be, and the easier it will be to find the right nursing home.
Do your due diligence when selecting a nursing home so that you can find the best one. Nursing homes have improved over time but you can’t always be too sure. So, learn about what to look for in a facility, to make sure your loved one gets the best care. Understand the different nursing home costs and make sure you visit several facilities before you make a decision.
If you are unsure about any of these decisions it’s important to seek out professional aged care advice.
Continue to care
One thing that makes it hard for parents to agree to move into a nursing home is that they think that you’ll no longer care for them. While the nature of care may change once they move into a home, you still have some responsibilities over your parents to show them that you still love them. Simple things such as visiting them, doing their laundry, shopping for personal care items, managing their finances, etc. will go a long way to make your parents feel cared for.
If you’re feeling guilty over putting your parent in a nursing home, know that you’re not alone. Today, more and more people are choosing to put their parents in a nursing home and it is natural to struggle with feelings of guilt.
But, it is important to get over the guilt and know that you’re doing the best for your loved ones. This is what will make coping with putting a loved one in a nursing home easier.
If you need any help with transitioning a loved one into aged care, please call 1300 944 011 and chat with one of our aged care experts.