Seeing our parents approach old age evokes certain loneliness in us. We experience bouts of anxiety as if we’re counting days until they leave our side for good. And so, we have conflicting feelings every moment we don’t spend with them or tend to their needs.
Their health is bound to deteriorate to a point beyond our capacity to maintain ourselves. And so, no matter how much it pains you, you ultimately decide to endorse them to a reputable home care agency. Logic says you only did what is right, but each day since you sent them to the care of people who aren’t family, you can’t help but beat yourself up internally.
Perhaps, this pain, just like any parting we ever encounter in life, is one that would perpetually last. That guilt and regret of losing time not spent with them are profound for any child who holds their parents dear to their heart. Wondering whether there’s ever a way out of that guilt spiral is a common feeling, and we impart to you valuable advice about it:
Leave It Up to the Professionals
You have to understand that you are only doing what is best for them by handing over the rein for maintaining their well-being to people who are qualified and are more capable. At times, you will worry if they will be given ample attention by their assigned caregivers. If you have these recurring doubts, just remember that, prior to taking in your parents, facilities assess their needs. Likewise, whoever is identified to care for them is amply briefed of your parents’ condition and specific preferences before he starts his service.
Do not hesitate to approach your parents’ care team and talk to them about your worries. More than anyone, they understand a family’s concern for their loved one. They can also reassure you that they are doing everything medically possible to keep your parents in good health.
Enough of the Self-Loathing
Changing the language by which you mentally converse with yourself isn’t easy and it won’t take an instant, but you have to start somewhere. Stop carrying the world on your back as if you are entirely accountable for your loved ones’ welfare because that is impossible. You also have to realize that you did not cause the ailments that your parents could be enduring at the moment.
Moreover, do not be so engrossed with the possible consequences your personal choices would have on your parents, let alone, on anyone. You are not selfish for prioritizing your goals from time to time and your parents in others. They would much rather hear that you are doing well rather than miserable. If you still can’t help but feel bad about your decision, tell yourself that you did what was best given the options you were given and your circumstances at that time.
Frequently Check On Them
Even if you now live miles apart with your husband and kids, make it a point to frequently ask them how they are on the phone. At this point in your lives, you and your parents should openly communicate more than ever. Tell your parents to not hesitate and tell you about anything that could be bothering them and always find a way to help them out.
Don’t make your busy life an excuse to not check on them. A daily greeting would be enough to raise their spirits. Visit and spend quality time with them as much as possible. Bring back those things you used to do with them back when you were younger, and they were livelier to somehow remind each other of the special bond you have that will never go away no matter how many years have passed.
Talk to People with Similar Experiences
Speaking out your inner dialogue, the mental struggles you’ve been through, and how you overcame them to people who, just like you, have parents who are way past their prime could be a cathartic experience. To reiterate these stories from a perspective that is striving to accept the present situation, you can gain a newfound hope as well as give others hope and encouragement as they go through a similar ordeal.
Overall, diverting your attention from things you cannot control to those you could, such as helping others embrace the change in their lives, empowers you.
Your parents will understand that your life focus is not on them solely, but also on your other responsibilities including work and family. Even so, they know that you will not abandon them just because you set them up for home care. If anything, the arrangement enables you to stay abreast with their current condition and attend to their needs more immediately.