Helping to Choose Senior Living for a Parent? Don't Feel Guilty

“I wasn’t able to take care of them. I’ve failed them.”

Self-blame is common among adult children who decide to help choose a senior living community for a parent, especially for children who acted as caregiver before the move. Perhaps you feel like you weren’t able to provide sufficient care at home. This sort of negative self-talk might sound like, “If only I’d been less selfish, I could have spent more time taking care of Mom,” or “My parents raised me for 18 years and I couldn’t repay them.”

The reality is that many older adults need 24/7, specialized care as they age, especially as health issues become more complex. Meanwhile, you are in your forties or fifties, still working a full-time job, are busy saving for retirement and still caring for your own children. You likely don’t have the time or resources to provide 24-hour care.

Needing more assistance is a natural part of aging that even the best caregiver can’t prevent — or handle alone. It can take a dedicated team of professionals to provide care. Your decision to move your parent to senior living isn’t a failure. It’s helping to ensure that your parent gets the full, undivided care they need and deserve.


“I should have invited them to live with me instead.”

While many people choose to care for their aging parents in their own home, the truth is, being a live-in caregiver is a tough job, and it’s not for everyone. While caring for a parent can be extremely rewarding, it can also be extremely stressful. This is especially true for those who have demanding careers, personal health concerns, small living spaces, or limited financial resources.

Being honest with yourself about the time and resources you have available is one of the most loving things you can do for a parent. Senior living can alleviate the strain on your relationship by ensuring that both of your needs are met, so you can continue to grow and enjoy being together as they age.


“I’m afraid Mom is lonely. She should be living with family, not strangers.”

You might feel guilty about your loved one moving away from friends and family to live in an unfamiliar place. But senior living communities are exactly that — a community.

If you’ve never visited a community, you might be surprised to learn that senior living is often more like a college campus than a hospital. Communities are designed to keep seniors active and as independent as possible with fun social calendars, caring, round-the-clock staff, home-like living spaces and new neighbors who are eager to make friends.


“Dad isn’t in the best health. He needs care, but he needs his family too.”

As parents age, health issues will naturally arise. When they do, you might feel guilty about moving them into a senior living community where you’re not always there to help. However, moving to senior living not only lifts the burden of caring for someone alone, it also helps ensure your parent is getting the medical care that fits their needs.

When your loved one is in a senior living community, they’ll have 24-hour access to health professionals and medical services experienced in assisting older adults.  


Remind yourself that you’re doing your best.

If you’re struggling with guilt, anxiety or sadness about moving your parents to a senior living community, just remember this: you have their best interest at heart. At the end of the day, you’re simply trying to make sure they get the care and attention they deserve.

If you’ve got questions or concerns about moving a parent to senior living at Brookdale, we’re here to help. Give us a call at 1 (844) 297-3320 or contact us online.

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