How do I cope with the guilt of putting my 98 year old mother in a nursing home?

Asked by

Answers 1 to 10 of 20
Hi there, me too and if your case is anything like mine I knew that if I kept it up it would KILL me, no kidding. I couldn't take care of my mom anymore and I didn't want to die. Simple as that. That is how I try and cope with the guilt of not taking care of her in my home. I have to REMEMBER that I was dying and that I did all that I could and then placed her in the finest, most loving place I could find.

mom has only been placed for 5 weeks and it feels like a minute. I am still raw and broken and dealing with everything as well as I can.

Pilot, you're doing the best you can too and your mom made it to 98 omg and you must have done something right, kiddo.

Don't beat on yourself and when your thoughts turn negative, make a choice in that instant to not follow them, just know that you have a right to a life and happiness (in our constitution) and that you did the best thing for your mom. And for you.

Bobbie321 said it all. Please don't feel guilty. Realize that there is no need for this emotion in your mind AT ALL, and say "bye bye" to it. I think as caregivers, we can fall into that trap of looking for "what more I could have done". At each moment along the way, you are doing the best you can. Each of us is. God bless you for finding the wonderful nursing home that you found for your Mom. Now you can visit her, cheer her up and bring her gifts and eat dinner with her, and then go to your home and get the rest you need.

You could check up on her more often and, if possible, help her understand a NH is the best place for her to be right now. Most NH residents are depressed; some lose their will to live, give up, and wither away. Relatives who actually care about their loved ones do the best to make them comfortable and somewhat happy and visit regularly. Those for whom looking after this human being was too much of an inconvenience even though they are quite capable of providing care will dump the person in a NH, and visit during the Holidays or sporadically because they're obligated to do so.

Pilot, in my opinion, that sense of guilt will never go away even though I'm sure you spent sleepless nights exploring other alternatives. After all, she's the woman who brought you into this world and you love her very much. If you alleviate that feeling of abandonment she's probably going through by visiting more often and reminding her she's very much a part of the family, you'll find a way to live with this nagging pain and move forward. When all is said and done, you'll know in your heart that you did the best with what you had -- and so will she.

Stay strong.

-- ED
Thank both of you so much. I think the thing that bothers me the most is my Mother is aware. While she is forgetful and repeats things over and over, she is very bright and alert, even at 98. I have not told her she will be long term, she doesn't ask.
I can't get to visit every day, (work full ) but get there when I can especially on the weekends.
i am thankful for your honesty. by putting your mother in the best place possible and you visit her regularly and have so attentive to her has been an inspiration to those of us that read your heart felt posting. bless you.
My mom has been in nh 5 months. She is not adjusting at all. Now she is getting verbally mean. My sister and I go at different times everyday. She cannot go out anymore. Her mind is sharp and now she bring up sensitive subjects. Not sure how to cope with this. Thank you
I recently put my mother in NH because my mother has moved from sibling to sibling to live. If she gets tried of one sibling she wants to move to the other one. And it has really worn than with me. Siblings harrassing eacb other about her money. Sister unable to provide 24/7 care but yet she was to take care of her. I am the POA so I thought that for mother's safety the NH was best. She has sundowning. HELP! Did I make the right decison????
Hi, pilot. That had to have been a tough decision for you and your Mom. What do you feel most guilty about? I agree with ED. Visiting her as often as you can, giving her hugs, letting her know how much you love her and more, may help you to focus on your love or care of your Mom and less on the painful decision you made. Without even knowing your Mom's circumstances, at 98, a nursing home may be the safest and best gift you could have given her depending on her health and vulnerability. THink about it a little and give yourself credit for making the decision. Remember all of the reasons you were led to make the decision in the first place. I would not be surprised if your reasons are all very sound. There comes that day and time and when it does, accept that you have done your very best. Blessings to you for caring as much as you do about your Mom.
chevy, don't second guess your decision. You have done what is right for you. If your Mom is safe, that is a good thing. It also sounds like she will be enjoying greater stability in living, rather than rotating from home to home.
keep always in mind that you did all you could for her/ now she can't live by herself anymore and you have to live/work, so it was time to put her to rest/being take care of by professionals. call her everyday if u want. visit her everyday for short periods of time- if u want/can. don't feel guilty. that's why we have nursing home for! ok.

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support