Sometimes it’s common for a parent to dig his or her feet into the ground and refuse to leave their home and move into a residential assisted living home. However, you know that they are unsafe living alone. In the last year, you’ve been through several health scares and a few falls with them, and have noticed your own health and relationships are suffering. You’ve hoped this day would never come, but realize it is now here. You need to have “The Talk” with them. You’re feeling anxiety, a little fear, but mostly guilt.
Why Do You Feel Guilty
Even though you know you’re making the right decision for him or her because of safety and health issues, you don’t feel exactly comfortable with the role reversal that is happening. You think back to when you were a kid, and your parents were making decisions about you, you resented it then and are afraid they will resent it now. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, it still doesn’t make you feel any more comfortable.
Sometimes guilt comes from the realization that caring for your mother or father in your own home isn’t possible. Maybe, you have a family of your own, plus a demanding job, which makes it impossible to give them the care that they need. If that is the case, it’s important that you know that you didn’t fail as a daughter, you may be just more realistic about the situation and the lack of time to care for them appropriately. That’s okay; it is more important to them that you are their daughter than their caregiver.
Maybe you promised them you would never put them in a nursing home. A nursing home can be a depressing place to be for a senior. The good news is that Majestic Residences residential assisted living homes are not nursing homes. They are state-licensed to perform non-medical assisted living services in a residential neighborhood home. They are a far cry from the typical nursing home.
Transitions Are Hard For Everyone
To a parent or anyone for that matter, moving out of their home is a big change. Not only is there the loss of their house that they have lived in for decades, but there may also be a more substantial loss of their independence. They may feel that they are losing control of their lives and are now being asked to trust other people who are strangers to them at first.
What To Do
Step One: Begin “The Talk” Before They Need Care
Having “The Talk” before they need care is very easy to say but hard to do. That’s because we don’t usually have these discussions with our parents until it is an emergency that forces us to decide to move out of the home.
Start by saying that you are very concerned about their safety and that you think about it often. Most parents don’t want to be a burden on their children and will respond to that approach. It might be the beginning of an honest and caring conversation. Your parent(s) should understand that you are trying to do what’s in their best interest.
Step Two: Include Them In The Process, If Possible
If possible, involve them in the decision-making process. This may include having them tour the homes you are looking at after you have narrowed them down to one or two. Majestic Residences homes can invite them to stop by for a meal or two with the other residents to make them feel more comfortable about a potential move. Having them stay for a short period of time or overnight can sometimes make the transition into the home a little more comfortable later. Sometimes a weekend stay is all that is needed for them to trust that they will be cared for.
Dealing With Your Emotions
You are going to feel emotions before, during, and after your loved one moves in, if you didn’t, you wouldn’t be human. Some feeling of guilt and anxiety is normal and expected. There will be an adjustment period for your loved one that usually lasts from 2 weeks to 30 days. That again is normal.
Support The Small Stuff
Once your loved one moves into the home, ask questions about his or her day. Celebrate the small things. Did they like a special meal or dessert they had yesterday? Ask them about the activities they participated in and what they liked about them. Stay positive. Ask them about the other residents they met and what they had in common with them.
Don’t Doubt Yourself
During the adjustment period, there will be some ups and downs. This is normal also. Not every day is going to be perfect. The common complaints during the transition period are about food choices or another resident who may not get along with. These issues are typical and doesn’t mean you made a bad decision. Remember the reasons why you placed your loved one into residential assisted living; it wasn’t because of food or not getting along with someone; it was because of their safety.
Remember It Takes Time
Visit your loved one as often as you can, and make the visits memorable. Do activities that they enjoy or ask the care home if you can participate with him or her during a planned activity. If your loved one is safe to leave the care home, taking him or her out for lunch or dinner every once in a while, this might help instill their feeling of independence and don’t be surprised when they look forward to returning to the home.