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3 Ways to Cope with Caregiver Guilt

Deciding to move a parent or loved one into an assisted living community can be emotionally wrenching, especially if a parent resists the idea. You may feel guilt about not being able to provide the care your loved one needs. Or that you’re asking too much of an aging parent to get used to a new environment and trust professional caregivers. You’re bound to feel anxious about the care they’ll receive. Expect that this transition is going to be emotional and that there will be some fallout. Acknowledging that from the start will help you get through it.

To help you cope with feelings of caregiver guilt, here are 3 tips for managing emotions when moving a loved one to assisted living. 


  1. Remember that your loved one is being well cared for and supported.

Moving a loved one to assisted living doesn’t mean you’ve failed to take care of them. It means you’re making a difficult decision to prioritize their health and safety by getting them the level of care they need.

 In addition to personalized care, your loved one will benefit from a stimulating environment. Assisted living offers more opportunities to participate in social activities and make new friends — a key factor for your loved one’s health and happiness. Knowing your loved one is enjoying themselves and meeting new people can help ease the guilt you feel about being away from them.


  1. Spend meaningful time together whenever you can.

Instead of dwelling on being away from your parent or loved one, focus on making the time you’re able to spend with them as meaningful as possible. Stop by for dinner, call to say goodnight each evening, or just enjoy being in each other’s company without you feeling burdened about their care.

 To help them feel at home in their new apartment, decorate it with their favorite things — a cozy throw blanket, favorite mug, heirloom, or family photos. Small touches can make a big difference about how they feel in their new home.


  1. Stop comparing yourself to other caregivers.

Each family’s situation is different, so it’s unfair to compare yourself to others. Your loved one may have more serious health conditions or need a higher level of care than is possible to provide at home. If your own health is suffering as a result of full-time caregiving, it’s a sign that you’re making the right decision for you and your loved one. What’s right for one family may be impossible for you. Be kind to yourself and know that you’re making the best choice for your unique situation.


Find assisted living near you.

If you’re considering moving a loved one to assisted living, we can help. Our dedicated caregivers can provide help with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing and eating, as well as managing medication. Services are tailored to individual needs and staff members are available 24/7 to provide assistance. 

Our assisted living communities are designed to promote independence and well-being. To learn more about the benefits of assisted living at Heritage Senior Living, contact us or find an HSL community near you.