Elder Care Decisions and Nursing Home Guilt
Elder Care Decisions are difficult to make, especially when you must find a nursing home.
Deciding how to best care for an aging loved one is a choice often fraught with emotion and stress.
Taking care of an elder requires dedicated amounts of time, energy, and patience. If we have children, extra space in the home is often a non-existent commodity.
If we have to work two jobs to make ends meet, spare time is a distant memory. Despite the financial and physical reasons to struggle with making an elder care decision, the biggest battle is usually an emotional one.
The guilt that often follows the decision to place an ill loved one in a nursing home or long-term care facility can be overwhelming. Feelings of inadequacy, failure, and anxiety can also contribute negatively to the experience.
We worry about their health and if they are being properly cared for. We blame ourselves for not being able to accept the vast amount of responsibility that comes with caring for an elder. We could drive ourselves crazy obsessing over the choice—however, there are a few things to consider that may help soothe the soul.
• Do your homework
Prior to placing your loved one into a care facility, check out nursing homes with the best reviews. Reading what other people have to say about a specific location will allow you to get a feel for the staff, food, care, etc. This way, if something makes you uncomfortable, you and your loved one can explore other options.
• Remain involved
Keep in touch with the facility staff as well as your loved one. Listen to what they say and observe how other patients are treated. Check your elder for bed sores, dehydration, and other signs of abuse when you visit. If anything seems to be wrong, contact your local Department of Public Health here.
• Forgive yourself
The decision to put your loved one in a care facility was not easy, but caring for them yourself was likely no longer possible. Remember that they love you too, and just as you want an unsurpassed quality of life for them—they would want the same for you. The decision was made according to what best fit the needs of all parties involved.
Deciding how to best care for an aging loved one is never easy. However, if you consider all options and find the one that is best, based upon the circumstances, there is no need to feel guilt. Be proud that you care enough for your loved one(s) to put them in the most capable hands possible.