Transitioning Care from Family to Facility

Carol Bradley Bursack | May 14th 2015

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Most people are aware that transition to facility care may be hard on elders but many don’t realize that it can be hard on caregivers, too. We’ve tried our best but our best is no longer enough. Irrational as it may seem to others, at this stage we may feel like we’ve failed.

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Love and Guilt Make Us Keep Trying

Quite honestly, we may keep trying to do it alone far longer than we should. Because if we can’t, well what kind of a daughter or son are we? Love makes us keep trying to go it alone. Then guilt becomes our constant companion when we can no longer do so.

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We Don't Trust Others

We may know in our hearts for a long time that assisted living or nursing home care is necessary but we don’t want to make that change. We don’t trust outsiders to provide the loving care that we do. We are motivated by love. Right or wrong, we feel that for them it’s just a job.

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Acceptance That More Is Better

Gradually, we may begin to accept that love can’t do it all. We start to channel some of our energy into researching different approaches to getting more hands-on care for our loved one. Gradually, we may realize that more hands may mean better care.

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We Take the Plunge

Sadly, some hired care can be terrible, but with diligence many of us find that excellent care is available. Whether that is having someone come into the home or our loved one transitioning to a care facility, many elders adjust very well. Some are even happy to have more people around.

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Our Responsibility

Our responsibility is to see that our loved ones are cared for. The time may come when the best possible care is too much for us to personally provide. Then, our responsibility is to find the best additional care possible.

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The Takeaway

Hiring other care providers or transitioning to a facility does not mean we are no longer caregivers. We still offer love and companionship, often with a refreshed vison once we make it through the transition. As we grow into our new role of advocacy we can begin to accept that it often takes a team to provide the best care for our loved one.