Dealing With Guilt During the Transition to Assisted Living

Author: Stacy's Helping Hand |


Are you feeling overwhelmed going through the process of researching and deciding if it’s time for your loved one to enter assisted living? You’re not alone. This is almost never an easy time for families. We understand. In addition to having assisted hundreds of Colorado families through this tough time, we have personally been through the process. As Denver’s Assisted Living Experts, the team at Stacys Helping Hand, Inc are advocates for you and your loved one through this transition. Our promise is to not only help your loved one find the best environment for their physical and mental well being, but to support you and your family during this emotional journey.

Guilt – The Invisible Hurdle

Other than a significant amount of paperwork, the actual move-in process can be quite quick if you choose a facility that can provide a bed and furniture. Of course, moving in will take some additional time if you have to get the furniture moved in before your loved one moves in and gets settled. Finding the best facility, filling out the paperwork, and making the actual move are all time consuming and can be overwhelming. But, for caregivers and family members the toughest hurdle is not an actual “to do” on the checklist.

The decision to move puts many wheels in motion. Over the coming weeks, you’ll face many important decisions, but beware of one of the largest hurdles we’ve witnessed present itself: guilt. During a transition to Assisted Living Facilities, guilt is one of the most prevailing emotions caregivers experience. You don’t see it coming and you may not have even realized you were feeling it. This is especially challenging when loved ones stoke the flames of guilt. Ugh. It is very common, and there is actually a 7-Step Method that can help you check-in and move forward with less weight on your shoulders. Give it a try:

  • Recognize your guilt. If you don’t know you feel guilty, there is no way of improving.
  • Connect with others. When we share our experiences, it lightens the load.
  • Catch yourself in the act. We have the power to observe our inner dialogue. Guilt sounds like, “I should or could _______.”
  • Don’t be hard on yourself. Guilt can easily pile on itself. You have to let it go.
  • Be OK with good enough. Guilt comes from falling short of your own expectations. Keep your expectations reasonable.
  • Ask for help. Get help from family, friends, trusted advisers, counselors, or experts in the field.
  • Let go. You aren’t a superhero, so stop trying to be one.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. In our experience working with families and seniors, the average period of time that it will take for your loved one to feel more at home and comfortable, referred to as the “the transition period”, is typically 45 to 60 days. At that point, your loved one is more comfortable and the staff has had a chance to get to know your loved one’s physical and emotional needs.

There is no simple answer or single, right way to help your loved one transition to Assisted Living. But, the challenges that are ahead can be manageable. If you would like to learn some self help tools such as EFT Tapping to manage your stress, contact Release The Wait LLC.

If you would feel more comfortable talking to a Senior Transition expert to get answers to your questions, Contact Us or Call our team at Stacys Helping Hand, Inc at 720-248-7758