Elder Law Tips: A Little Help To Ease The Guilt Putting A Loved One In A Nursing Home
Making the decision to put a loved one – be it a parent, spouse, relative, or other loved one – into a nursing home has always been difficult even under the very best of circumstances. During COVID-19, however, making this same decision can be devastating for caregivers.
The heart-wrenching truth is that sometimes this move must be made. I’m fully aware that statement doesn’t help ease the guilt. Some of my clients have never gotten over the guilt of putting their loved ones in a nursing home. However, I hope that some of the following ideas I have pulled together from agingcare.com, will help relieve you of your suffering whether you are currently in the midst of making the decision or have already put your loved one in a nursing home.
Take These Ideas To Heart To Best Help Your Loved One
First and foremost, realize that you didn’t cause your loved one illnesses or age-related decline. Whether facing age-related issues or a progressive illness like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, your loved one would still have to deal with their declining health whether you continued functioning as their sole caregiver or chose to bring in outside help.
Understand that professional care is often a necessary next step. A higher level of care provides both increased safety and comfort for an aging or ill loved one. Nursing homes don’t accept just any seniors. These long-term care facilities conduct thorough needs assessments of potential residents prior to move-in. If your parent is admitted because they require skilled nursing care and consistent supervision, then a nursing home is the appropriate setting for them. Yes, there are alternatives, such as around-the-clock in-home health care, but they are often cost-prohibitive.
(Keep in mind that professional help is also necessary for you to avoid caregiver burnout and have a life and relationships outside of caregiving.)
Learn to understand that you can’t live life for other human beings. You can only help so much. Total control of events isn’t in your hands. There might not be a solution that makes everyone happy or solves every problem. Do your best to handle what is within your abilities, and then let the rest go.
Realistically assess your options. Most elders will be resistant to the idea of entering a nursing home. Long-term care facilities get a bad rap, but they provide a very important service for families. If you come to find that your loved one is being cared for in a substandard facility, or that they may be experiencing abuse or neglect, contact the long-term care ombudsman responsible for your area. You can find the contact information for your ombudsman on the National Consumer Voice for Long-Term Care website.
What many family caregivers don’t realize is that you will still be part of their caregiving team. Your loved one will still need you as their advocate. Accept this newly defined caregiver role and the benefits it provides. A commitment to a life of your own will make you a more refreshed caregiver and protect against caregiver burnout. A reputable nursing home will provide your Mom or Dad with the care and engagement that they require. That’s a winning situation for both sides, so put aside the guilt and regret.
To read the entire article and a few more helpful ideas visit:
Make Sure Your Loved Ones’ Legal Affairs Are In Order
Prior to making the decision to move a loved one into an assisted living/nursing home facility, make sure their paperwork is in order. Perhaps their Estate and Asset Protection plan needs to be updated. If you would like us to review your loved ones plans, give us a call. Making sure everything is updated and provides the proper care for your loved one will also help relieve you of any lingering doubt or guilt.