Once you reach a point where you can no longer manage caring for you partner or parent…
Whether it’s in their home or living with you… it is a heart wrenching decision to finally place them in care.
So how can you alleviate this heavy decision?
We’ll get to that in this article, plus we’ll cover some of the reasons that may have brought you to this point.
As you’ll see, it always helps to know exactly why you’re doing it.
Firstly, being a caregiver to someone you love can be very hard on your emotions.
Because you know them so well and love them so much, it may be excruciating to constantly see them in their current state if you also have the duty to take care of them.
Your emotional attachment makes you extremely vulnerable.
So not only is your loved one feeling out of control of the situation.. but maybe you are too.
It’s normal for the mere thought of putting a loved one in care to be a source of guilt in the beginning.
And it’s a common occurrence when people don’t know what types of professional care are actually available.
The thing is, most people get into an unhealthy circle of expectations… where the ones in need of care expect their loved ones to take care of them, and the other person feels like it’s his or her duty to do it.
Some people are even groomed to take on this role for years in advance.
When that works for people, that’s admirable. But a lot of people put that pressure on themselves just because they are not aware of how good professional care can actually be.
So rather than feeling guilty, try to at least weigh the options out.
There’s a reason there are caring professionals. Some people are trained and do this well and your loved one may be better off under their wing.
Passing On The Role Is Not Necessarily Bad
If you’ve visited several caring facilities or met with professionals, it is likely that you have found all those terrible things one hears about residential care to be mostly false.
So if at first, the dread of such rumors is what kept you from seeking outside help, you can now let go of a role that perhaps you weren’t meant for.
Doing this almost out of obligation, without a real desire and enjoyment is just the path to becoming resentful.
If the role of caretaker was dealt to you without much choice, it’s time to pass it on to more qualified and willing hands.
Even if at first you volunteered to be the caretaker and eagerly accepted the challenge, maybe you have come to the point where you no longer feel capable of doing it.
As a professional caretaker, I’m here to tell you that that is completely understandable and normal.
Caring for someone can be really hard on the body. So if you can no longer sleep well at night, are not feeding yourself adequately and are overwhelmed with feelings of guilt… it’s time to let go.
Let go of the external expectations that say you’re supposed to keep doing this.
If you have reached a limit, it doesn’t help anyone if you burn yourself out. Those who were not able to help you should be thankful, but also understanding of the fact that you can no longer do it.
And Here’s What You Do About It
With a major decision like this…
All of the above are normal feelings and hopefully, both your loved one and your close relatives will be able to understand and respect that.
So once you’ve discovered why you feel like professional care is the next step, here’s what you need to do…
Inform Others Of Your Decision
So you finally get up the courage to broach the subject with others. What if your family members and loved one don’t take it well?
Even before you do it, it helps to know and accept that the reaction will vary.
Maybe your loved one will say things like “please don’t do it” or “I will help you more”.
And your family members may ask why can’t you keep doing it.
A lot of resistance can be met, but know that they are facing their own fears as well. This is normal too and you shouldn’t let it get the best of you.
So What Are The Options?
If it comes to the point where your decision wasn’t well-received, you are pretty much left with two possible actions:
- You can stick firm to your decision and face the consequences
- You can succumb to the blackmail and guilt that is piled on to you and keep going until you feel even worse than before
You’ve made it this far, so number one is obviously the most reasonable course of action.
Of course, communication is crucial in order to make it work. Let everyone one know exactly why you are considering professional care and why you no longer feel able to do it alone.
Even better, try to include them.
Once you tell them how you’re feeling, ask for their help. You can all look for caring facilities or professionals together. If they are your family and they care for you, I bet they’ll be glad to help once they know they full picture.
Have a parent that’s causing you stress?
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Important Fact: Not All Residential Care Is Bad
It’s very important for everyone involved to know that not everything about residential care is bad. We tend to hear the worst that is reported in the paper and often blown out of proportion.
But that’s mainly because scandalous and scary news is more often shared, so the news outlets tend to avoid the good things entirely.
There are many happy people in residential care. They are socialized, well fed and completely cared for. Basically all the things that you may be struggling to do on your own right now.
Commonly, people forget to think that their aging loved ones may be happier around other people their age than with someone that may feel burdened about having to care for them.
Take The Plunge
If you have taken the time to carefully check out facilities and you have found one that you feel will be appropriate for them, go ahead and place them there.
Yes it sounds blunt, but if you and your loved one relate well to the staff, are comfortable around them and feel like they actually care and listen to you… go ahead and give it a try.
You Can Always Switch!
Remember, if it turns out you don’t like the place after a while, the location doesn’t suit you or you found a facility you like better, it’s okay to move.
The whole point is to find what’s best for your loved one. So don’t be afraid of trying out a new place if things just aren’t working.
It May Not Be Easy At First…
Yes, at first your loved one may try to make you feel guilty about placing them in care; but I guarantee that once you walk out of the facility they will suddenly be fine with their new friends.
It’s almost like with little children. If you have kids, you probably remember how they cried when you left them somewhere new like kindergarten.
And as soon as you were out of sight, they met up with their friends and started playing and laughing, totally forgetting about you.
Placing someone in residential care can be very similar. It may be a hard decision at first, but if it’s for your own well-being, it will be good for those around you too.
Never lose sight of the fact that you are just as important as your loved one.