Dealing with the guilt of convincing your elder parents to move
Lynn D remembers about the negative and firm answer she received from her mother when she first proposed the idea of moving to a care home. For the mother meant leaving everything she had including the memories of the time spent with Lynn’s father who passed away almost fifteen years ago.
Lynn struggled to take a decision considering the fact that moving her mother would also mean of her mental situation worsening, taking into consideration the fact that her mind was already starting to fail her.
But, after an incident occurring in a hospital, Lynn decided to move her mother to a senior housing. Due to a fall, her mother broke her hip and while sitting in the hospital bed she made a fist to punch a medical assistant. But, instead she almost hit Lynn. Fortunately, the daughter managed to stop the mother in time but at that point she knew that she had to make a decision and that she would always bear her mother’s anger when something goes wrong.
For most families, especially adults having to deal with the inabilities of their parents is a very hard process to acknowledge. Most of them refuse to see the signs and go through a denial process because instead of being the children, they find themselves in the position of taking care of their elder parents. And most often, this process also affects parents who have to acknowledge their feelings of confusion and helplessness.
Determining anyone to move into a new place, make new acquaintances, and trust foreign people can be a very hard and slow process. Basically, in one of the most vulnerable periods of the parents’ lives, adults ask them to live their home.
Dr. Stephan Quentzel, the Director of Psychiatry ward says that the feelings experienced by adults are most often of guilt and range to feeling too responsible. Most of us want to know that our parents are the same people that can make decisions and this is why adults feel upset due to the role reversal.
A solution for this situation is to address the issue before the moment it actually occurs. Visiting different facilities with the elder people can be a result as it prepares them for the moment when the moving moment will occur.
The always rethinking process of the situation most of the times turns the relationship between parents and adults into one with a lot of tension and stress. This eventually leads to shortening the time that we have to spend with our parents.
Another solution for avoiding this type of periods, according to dr. Quentzel should be to make this decision with the parents while they still can make decisions. Health Care Proxy and Living Will are documents that help make the arrangements with the elder’s support.
Convincing parents to move is never an easy task. This process challenges everything we used to know about the relationship between parents and children and most of the times families are forced to make a decision without being able to use every available resource due to the lack of time.
Nevertheless, the adults have to always be at ease while thinking that they did the best they could to take care of their parents and keep in mind that parents also took decisions for us which from their part was the best one for their children.