The decision to move a loved one to a safe independent or assisted living community brings up a lot of emotions.  Deciding to leave the familiar surroundings and comfort of ‘home’ is usually a challenge. Researching, touring and selecting the best facility for your loved one can be a very overwhelming and time-consuming process.  Although a ton of paperwork and the actual move-in will soon follow, the toughest hurdle for family members is not on any “to do” list; and that hurdle is called ‘guilt’. In my experience, guilt it is one of the biggest and most common emotional challenges faced by family member

Before, during or after the transition, guilt will most certainly show up.  The transition can be especially challenging if your loved one stokes the fiery furnace of guilt while being resistant from the start.  But even when you have the cooperation of a loved one and they understand the decision, guilt can still show up unexpectedly. 

Here are a few insights to help combat these feelings that could prove useful in the process. 

  • Recognize feelings of guilt. Understanding the source of your guilty feelings and remind yourself of the reality of the situation.  This is not anyone’s ‘fault’. 
  • Be realistic  Does your loved one have a serious health condition or need a much higher level of care than is possible for you to provide? If your health is suffering or someone could get injured in an effort to provide care, you shouldn’t feel guilty for making a change. 
  • Don’t be hard on yourself. You haven’t failed as a caregiver. You’ve made a smart decision to get the help they need.  You are taking care of your loved one by doing the right thing.  Guilt sounds like, “I should have done…” or “I could have…” and “I promised them…”
  • Seek Support  Gather as many supportive family members and friends that you can to help you stay positive during this process. Contact an advocate like VIP Senior Placement, where experienced professionals can help lighten the load and lend helpful insight with an understanding heart. 
  • Be OK with everything being OK.  Guilt can show up because we set our expectations too high, make a decision, then manage to ‘disappoint’ ourselves.  Keep your expectations reasonable and be “ok” with your decision. Remember, you’re doing your best you and you can’t plan for every possible outcome. 
  • Give it Time. This transition is life changing.  Give your loved one some time to adjust.  It’s been our experience that it will take 6-8 weeks to feel more at home and get comfortable.  During this “transition period”, give them space, but don’t abandon them.  Your loved one will adjust as the days go by. Keep in touch with the caregiving and administrative staff, as everyone is adjusting to one another.


VIP Senior Placement is a free, professional service that specializes in helping you locate the perfect assisted living or appropriate senior housing for your aging loved one. We provide a hands-on, strategic approach to help families locate and understand the options surrounding the assisted living environment while transitioning their loved one with confidence. #AssistedLiving #IndependentLiving #MemoryCare #arizonaassistedliving #seniorplacement

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