Feeling Guilty about Putting Mom in a Nursing Home

Dealing with caregiver guilt for a parent’s care

Here at Mt. Hope Nursing Center, we see and feel the emotions of family members who are faced with placing their parent in a nursing home. According to Mount Hope Nursing Center Administrator Gina Terry, one of the most common feelings they express are ones of guilt.

Deciding to put your mother or father in a nursing home leave many people feeling guilty that they aren’t doing enough. In fact, the idea that you personally need to care for an aging parent is what keeps a lot of people from seeking out the professional assistance they and their parent actually needs.

The stress and guilt of taking on the responsibility to care for an elderly parent who is facing failing health or other issues is too great for many people. Gina has seen these negative emotions weigh heavy on so many who first come through the door of our nursing home.

Loving them means taking the very best care of them. It doesn’t mean that you are the person to do that job.

— Mt Hope Administrator Gina Terry

When your parent’s well-being is beyond your ability

If you child becomes hurt or ill, and it’s beyond your capabilities to help, you know it is common sense to take them to a doctor. You know they need a level of professional care you are not able to give. It is the same thing for an aging parent. They may have medical needs or are developing mental or cognitive problems that are beyond your ability to control or handle.

It is easy to just take on a little more and then a little bit more. Then, before you know it, you’re spending more time caring for your parent than you are with your job or your own children. People can suddenly find they’ve reached a point where being the caregiver has come with sacrifices that are too great.

And when that happens, ask yourself one question: Is this what your parents want for you?

Your parents don’t want you to stop your life to take care of them.

— Mt Hope Administrator Gina Terry

Administrator Gina Terry has had countless conversations over the decades from family members who have been feeling guilty about placing their mom or dad in a nursing home. “People need permission,” explains Gina. “You’re not the first person to bring your parent to a nursing home. You won’t be the last one.”

Do not feel guilty for bringing your parent to a nursing home. Choosing to get professional caregiving help is actually a selfless thing to do. You’re choosing to allow your parent to get all the necessary care they need by experts.

A nursing home is NOT your only option.

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Moving into a nursing home may seem like a drastic step for a lot of people. Perhaps your parents are facing new struggles as they age, but not at the point of needing around-the-clock care. Fortunately, there are variety of different types of care options that provide the additional help you and your parents need. Many types of elder care even allow for the person to remain living in their home.

Respite care is an excellent resource to start with. Respite care is a service that gives temporary relief for caregivers. Instead of committing to permanent nursing home care, respite care allows for you to let your loved one be cared by professionals in a care facility over a short period of time, from a couple of days to a couple of weeks.

It’s okay to seek help.

But even more than that, it’s okay to ask questions.

This is more than a job for us at Mt. Hope Nursing Center. Gina and her skilled team are dedicated to help families have the greatest opportunity to live well and be happy. They would be happy to help make sure you have the answers you need.

Anyone who is facing the tough decisions of care for an elderly loved one are welcomed to contact us, even if just to talk and ask questions. Please reach out to us by calling (316) 667-2431 or emailing Administrator Gina Terry. We also have a way for you to send us a message online.

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