How can I get over the guilty feeling of moving mom to a new nursing home?

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I have taken care of my mother and father for the past 20 years. My father died in 1999, but I saw him waste away in a nursing home for 6 years. Now my mother has been in the nursing home for the past 2 years and there have been some minor issues with the nursing home, but we, too, have worked through those. My brother lives about 900 miles away and called me the other day and wants to move mom to a nursing home by him (his wife is a VP/CFO of some nursing homes). The home we are transporting my mother too is absolutely beautiful; no comparison to where she is at now. They have a full-time chaplain, fulltime music director, 6 beauticians...it is like nothing I have ever seen. I am so thankful that she wants to move her there and she will be going in about a week; however, I can't get over the feeling of loneliness over this decision as I feel like a piece of my heart is being taken away. I guess I kind of feel guilty and don't want her to think that I am just trying to get out of the race early, but she has said that she is ready to go there. Her and I have been very close and so I am a mixed bag of emotions. Just wandering who else might have gone through this and how they dealt with the emotions of it all.

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Just had to give you an update - just got a call from my mother and she is absolutely loving life at this new facility, which is 900 miles away from me, but around the corner from my brother. She said the care, food, and wonderful activities are exactly what she needed and she said she went into the chapel today and thanked the Lord for giving her such a beautiful new home to spend the rest of her days and that she was so thankful. Thank you, again, for all your kind words of encouragement.
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Dear Lousey: My heart broke to hear of your loneliness. I think sometimes we feel as if we cannot be happy as that makes us feel more guilty since our loved one is not capable of living life outside of a nursing facility. My father was a minister and I have to believe and would also hope that if you called a minister in your area, he would be more than happy to come and visit you and maybe help you to get involved in a church family; also, there are support groups that can be absolutely wonderful. I will be praying for you and hope that you can explain to your family how you are feeling and that they will reach out to you, also.
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It seems some of our feelings of guilt, anxiety and loss are rooted in beliefs that may interfere with feelings of happiness. For example, we sometimes believe we know exactly what another person truly wants and/or needs. Reality is, as the wonderful responders above have noted, you are truly caring for, and doing your best for your mother. My guess is she needs exactly that... more than she needs whatever she may appear to be "losing".. Believing that a change is somehow "inferior", or has a secondary message or meaning is never helpful. Most of us have to choose to "look on the bright side" because there ARE bright sides to new horizons as we move along life's journey..
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My spouse has Alzheimer's and has been in assisted living for about 2 months now. I know that he is being well taken care of but I myself am dealing with so muc loneliness and depression. As you probably know , friends and family tend to disappear when alzheimer is the diagnosis. I see no one, no one calls, no one visits , I just don't know what to do to help myself. I haven't been to church in so long, I don't have a church family or pastor . I go to sleep crying and cry most of the day. My family goes to visit my husband, do I need to move into a facility so maybe they will visit me too?
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Thanks for all the support. We successfully moved Mom to the new nursing home 900 miles away from me and it is absolutely beautiful - a much, much better place. It was hard to say goodbye, but I left her in good hands with my brother and his wife, and I am feeling wonderful, miss her, but wow what a glorious residence she is at now. Thank you for all the support and responses I have received in helping me through this time.
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I am so thankful for people like you MomHat. Considering my older sisters just called and said, "we have decided we are no longer going to visit Moma in the nursing home. You need to come get her and take her to Tennessee." So, give yourself a big hug from me because I appreciate the fact that you saw the joy in having your mom around to love as long as you could. Your mom is, I'm sure, very proud to have had you take care of her and it is time for you to do for yourself and feel wonderful in knowing you had great times with her. And, you can still go visit...:)
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MomHat, Maybe you can think of it like you would your kid going off to college. You're gonna miss them like crazy, but you know they're going to have a great experience. But the only way they can have those experiences is to leave the nest and take the leap. It's wonderful to hear about the exception to the rule like this place. YAY!!
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Guilt. It's awful and so unnecessary, but always there.
Try to let it go. She is going to be in a lovely place. I understand. Mom is in respite while I decide if I need to leave her there. The nurses love her. She is cared for so well, but the guilt is eating me. The lack of stress I'm dealing with now is helping the guilt. Guilt. I hate it.
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Thank you so much for that response. Such a pleasant and truthful way to look at it. We will be moving her Monday and she is very accepting of it as I definitely made it her choice to go. Yes, I am sad and probably always will be with that decision, but it was time and it is such a better home for her to go to. I plan on sending her cards very, very often and care packages so that it will brighten her day.
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I have not gone through what you are experiencing, but I do know the bittersweet ambivalent feelings of a child leaving home. In that situation a parent knows that what is happening is for the best, that the child will be better off, but there are still feelings of loneliness and maybe some regret.

I think that the ambivalent feelings of separation you are feeling are perfectly normal. Mixed emotions are to be expected. I wonder, though, why there would be any guilt in there. You have done your best for Mom and letting her go to the splendid place near your brother is also best for her. A little sad for you, for sure, but nothing to feel guilty about. Continue to stay in touch with her by phone and cards and notes.
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