How to Escape Feelings of Guilt Over Elder Care for an Aging Parent

When somebody you care about — especially an aging parent or grandparent — is struggling with activities of daily life (ADLs), you might be the one to step up and help. Yet, you may not live close enough to be the best support or you have a career, are raising children of your own and simply don’t have time, or get too easily frustrated.

It’s not your job to look after an aging parent or other loved one. Well, as long as it’s not your young child, it is not technically your responsibility. Yet, most of us feel incredible responsibility to look after our loved ones, including our parents as they get into their 70s, 80s, or 90s.

There are many elder care choices available for people of advancing years when they need some type of assistance with those daily life activities. But, maybe you feel guilty even thinking about elder care, so you never bring up the subject. How can you escape those feelings of guilt?

Elder Care: Aging Parents in Pascagoula, AL

Elder Care: Aging Parents in Pascagoula, AL

1. Understand the benefits of assisted living.

Assisted living is, arguably, the best elder care choice available. Yes, there are others, but nothing helps to maximize quality of life for aging men and women like assisted living.

Reach out to a local assisted living facility, speak to an administrator, take a tour, and learn as much as you can about it. Then you will realize how valuable it can be. When you understand that, you realize you don’t have to feel guilty talking about this type of elder care.

2. Realize that quality of life still matters.

Too often people are worried about telling an aging parent or grandparent what they should not do, all to keep them safe and healthy, but is that really maintaining quality of life?

It doesn’t matter your age; quality of life still matters. When you recognize that, then you should start looking into options that allow those seniors to stay active, participate in arts and crafts, music, fitness training, gardening, playing games, entertainment with friends their own age, and much more. That happens at a quality assisted living community.

3. Recognize that it’s not your responsibility to provide 24/7 care.

It may feel like it’s your responsibility, but it’s not. You are this person’s adult child or grandchild. You are not their mother or father. And yes, you love them and want the best for them, but you have a lot of other responsibilities to carry in life. You simply can’t give them 24/7 care.

But a quality assisted living facility can. Even if they don’t need much assistance or support throughout the days, it’s nice to know it’s there when they need it.

4. Talk and listen to them.

When you sit down and talk about elder care, tell them what you’re thinking, what you researched, and then listen to what they have to say about it, feelings of guilt can slip away. When you do that, you will see what their thoughts are about it and they will recognize — when you listen — that they have nothing to worry about because you are paying attention to their wants, needs, doubts, and maybe even their fears.

If you or an aging loved one are considering a move to an assisted living facility near Pascagoula, AL, contact Ashbury Manor Specialty Care and Assisted Living at 251-317-3017.

About Cindy Johnson

Ashbury Manor’s Administrator since 2008, Cindy Johnson is a long-time expert in the assisted living field. Prior to her arrival at Ashbury Manor, Cindy managed acquisitions and crisis management for existing and new larger senior care project developments for eleven years. As regional manager for an Oregon-based assisted living management company, Cindy was directly responsible for operations for five 50-65 bed assisted living facilities. As manager during the transition to new ownership, Cindy reorganized internal operations and conducted leadership training for Executive Directors. As a result of her management and expertise, one of the company’s facilities (in Ocala, Florida) received a deficiency-free survey, resulting in the lifting of a moratorium on operation.

A nurse for 36 years, senior care has always been Cindy’s passion. Desiring to work more closely with residents, Cindy became a Category II Administrator in 2005. As Ashbury Manor’s Administrator, Cindy understands the complexities associated with dementia and cognitive impairment and she has fallen in love with seniors with dementia or cognitive impairment and their families.

Cindy is Treasurer of the local “Senior Coalition” chapter. She enjoys mentoring new candidates who want to become administrators.

As a 16-bed facility, with Cindy's training and experience, our residents and their families can be sure Ashbury Manor’s carefully selected staff provides the expertise of a larger facility while maintaining the individualized personal care of a small special needs home.
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