Friday, 14 June 2019 10:29

What About the Guilty Feeling?

It's a hard decision. Your loved one has loved and cared for you all your life. Let's face it, there is a "stigma" attached to an Adult Day Care facility that makes you feel like it equals; "babysitting your loved one because you don't want to do it yourself". You feel like you are going to drop them off and drive away, leaving them all alone. The guilt and sadness can be overwhelming!

The sad truth is, caring for them at home can become dangerous or nearly impossible. Your loved one is not a child that can be put down for a nap, or put in "time-out" and the role reversal can be overwhelming sometimes, especially if it is your parent you are caring for. Likewise for a spouse, because you are now in the role of taking care of "everything" that you used to do as a team! It can just be too much to handle sometimes and for spouses, you feel the "burden" of "handling" things so your children won't have to! You feel like, you took the vows, so now it's your "job" to do it all. burden of guilt

The fact is, it can be the best decision for their health and for yours. An Adult Day Care facility gives you the best of both worlds. Because your loved one can get the care they need during the day, while you can get the rest you need, or go to work, or pay bills, or whatever you have been neglecting! At the end of the day, your loved one comes home to the familiar environment he/she knows to the family he/she knows. You still have them with you, with the added bonus of delaying placement in a full-time care facility which can be costly.

What are common reasons people feel guilt? Glad you asked...

  • You've failed in your duty to care for them. You promised you would always take care of them. They asked you to never abandon them. You made a promise when you married - in sickness and in health...

You haven't failed. It doesn't mean you failed to care for them, it means you are making smart decisions to ensure they are cared for while caring for yourself. That way you can better care for them when they come home at the end of the day. You can still talk with the staff and manage their overall care. You are taking good care of them and you certainly haven't abandoned them.

  • You're not as good a caregiver as you should be. Others care for their loved ones day in and day out, I should be able to do it too. My siblings think I'm lazy and just don't want to care for my loved one at home all day. My children/stepchildren are angry and think I'm just dumping my loved one to get "rid" of them.

Every situation is different. It isn't fair to compare yourself to others. It's also important not to pay too much attention to people who don't help and don't understand the real situation. You are doing a great job as a caregiver.

Adult Day Care offers many opportunities that are unavailable in a home situation. Social interaction can make a world of difference to your loved one. Yes, you are with your loved one, but you are also a caregiver so you are busy, not just being social. And let's face it. You are just one person. An Adult Day Care offers many people to interact with, many of which are in the same age bracket with many things in common.

Your loved one will be busy with (if they choose) activities, exercise, be able to go outside in the fresh air, partake of bible study, have live entertainment (music and dancing), crafts, get healthy nutritious meals and snacks and the ever needed socialization. Everyone can always use more friends, right?

It's difficult when you have negative thoughts and feelings about a decision you feel forced to make. Your heart may need time to catch up with what you know in your head. Understanding where the guilt is coming from gives you the chance to remind yourself about the reality of the situation.

Over time, you'll be able to see how your loved one can blossom and enjoy coming to gather with friends, or to "work" as they sometimes call it! Your guilt will ease in a short amount of time and your health will improve as your stress is reduced. Because you will know, they are safe and cared for.


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