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My dad is 75 and cognitively all there. After 2 months in the hospital for a GI infection and a stint in rehab, it was strongly urged that dad be transferred to AL since he is still so weak and unable to do much for himself. I've visited and met with several facilities and we've found one we really like--the admissions director even came to meet my dad. Dad is ok with it, but I'm having such guilt, grief, and anxiety over this change. I know it's the right thing--I'm just curious to hear from others on how you coped with the transition.

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We moved my mom from her isolated home to a lovely ind living facility where she thrived. I'm not sure where you're guilty feelings come from, do you think you should be able to care for yor dad alone? That's probably not realistic if you work, which most of us do.
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Pam, you said there are more weeping children then parents. That is so profound, so beautifully said, it sounds like the title of a book or poem, I thank you for that xo
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Thank you all. Each of your comments has resonated with me --I appreciate it!
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Rose, I am so heartbroken by your story...but no, YOU are not guilty about what may have been very bad medical management that it does not sound like they gave you any say in, nor not knowing you could call the ombudsman or make a protective services report. I'm sure no one at Ashley Manor went out of their way to tell you that. Jannie is absolutely right, you did what you thought you could and what you thought - and what SHOULD have been - for the best.
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Guilt is an emotion that occurs when a person believes that they have violated a moral standard that they themselves believe in.....
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For every one who feels guilty getting parents to an ALF, there are others who wished they had done it sooner. It can add years to their life, and if they are social, they will have a good time with people their own age. It reminds me of sending my kids off to school for the very first time. I was afraid and anxious. The first day of any Kindergarten has many more weeping parents than children. Now, with ALF, there are many more weeping children than parents. Fear not.
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You did the very best you could do. You did not do any thing on purpose, you were only trying to the best for your loved one. Guilt is the hardest thing with a parent in a care facility., we question our selves a hundred times to see if we are doing the right thing. You did the very very best you could. If your loved one was seen by a in home caregiver/doctor/nurse they could of very well prescribed and done the very same thing. You did the very best you could do. Please please try and not beat your self up over this. I know thats easier said then done. Just try and remember, you would never do any thing on purpose, it turned out that way. I am not sure how much your loved one knew what was actually real or not. If they indeed hurt him then you report them to the dept. of aged and they would get in huge trouble, if they didn't then maybe he just thought they were. I beleive in my heart that now, he knows that you did the very best you could. We love our parents and want only the very best for them. Try with all your might not to feel bad about this, it will consume you if you don't. Please if you can, try and focus on all the good days you had and not the last part of his life. Again, you did the best you could as we all do, Pleasent thoughts to you and your family
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When we took my husband into the assisted living place he seemed so happy that evening.We had dinner and he even visited with some of the staff. however I had to leave to take care of our cat and I told him I would be back in the morning and he said fine. when I went the next morning he grabbed my hand and said those act like they are nice but they hurt people. I could not believe he was so upset. I tried to tell him everything was okay and kept saying they hurt people and are not nice. I began to cry but not one of the staff came over to see what was wrong. I told them to call my daughter to comr get me. I wish I had just taken him back home, but I didn't. TheHis blood sugar went to500 and they took him to the VA my daughter went to check on him and they said he was at the VA. they sent him back to Ashley Manor and he was so upset they called the VA and they prescribed Haldol and when they gave it to him he went crazy. we told the pill was making him worse and they kept giving it to him. they had to get him back to the VA and he was in a diaper and gloves on his hands, it was heart. Sickening for all of us to watch. we kept telling them thr meds were killing him. they releases him to a mental behavioral clinic and still kept giving drugs. he could. No longer walker, he just babbled. he went from 140 pounds in three works to110It was horrible to watch what was happening to him. they called us on the 20th of Jan. to come get him from the hospital as he was dying.I got him home and Hospis here and he passed in two days. now me and the kids feel guilty because we had taken him to Ashley Manor.How can I get over this. Guilt.
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I went through this when we moved my mom to a facility and then again when he level of care changed and she had to moved to a different building on the campus. Give yourself time to adjust as well. Sounds like your dad is in a good place and he will get used to his new surroundings. Guilt is normal when we move our parents into a facility. It's to be expected but you will get over it. Just keep loving your dad and know you are doing your best.
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"People tend to dwell more on negative things than on good things. So the mind then becomes obsessed with negative things, with judgments, guilt and anxiety produced by thoughts about the future and so on." -- Eckhart Tolle

"Guilt: punishing yourself before God doesn't." -- Alan Cohen

"What you believe is very powerful. If you have toxic emotions of fear, guilt and depression, it is because you have wrong thinking, and you have wrong thinking because of wrong believing." -- Joseph Prince
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In fact, to add to my last post, if I were to look in the archives, I could probably find a long drawn out post about how upset, and I actually got angry with the entire situation with my Mom, I had taken care of her for two yrs before she went into assisted living and was so afraid, burnt out and the whole nine yards. But, now, a yr. and a half later, things have changed for the better.
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Some very true and compassionate responses here.
From my own experience - both of my parents are now in facilities - a part of these feelings is that I am facing my own future, and it makes me very sad and scared.
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Greetings, It takes courage on our parts to place our loved ones in Assisted Living. I know from experience. When I first presented it to my Mom she told me that Daddy would turn over in his grave. I told her, No he Won't Mom. Placing momma in Assisted Living was one of the most difficult things I have ever ever done. I felt as if I was handing her off...as if I did not care, when that in reality was the opposite. I knew that the safest place for her was/is Assisted Living. I believe we as childeren of our parents carry such guilt that it makes us sick, physcially and mentally sick, I know from exp. Your Daddy is truly in the best hands. He will be safe and taken care of. Please do not let this rip you apart inside. I know that is easier then said. My parents cast a huge shadow on my life, and guilt was what I do best. Once my momma was in Assisted Living and she was there a couple of weeks or so, she began to get used to it, and now she does not want to ever leave there! I NEVER in a MILLION years would of believed my mom would NOT want to leave!!!! EVER!!!! Try and realize that you cannot take care of him safely, or any one else except an Assisted Living facility. We Love our parents with all of our hearts and it rips us apart when their independence is gone, it hurts our hearts as well as theirs, the best you can do for your daddy is give him hugs, call him on the phone when you cannot be there and tell him how much you adore him and how proud that he is your daddy. I only live five min. away from my mom and I have developed fibromyaliga and severe migraines, and stress makes it worse...I can only see my momma once a month or so....but, I do call her often and always have great repor with the staff.You are doing an incredible job. Bless you and your daddy, remember you are amazing!!!!!
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Guilt is a form of fear. I choose to walk to Love instead of Fear.
I would advise you to read ANYTHING of the late Hugh Prather's books. He was a 30 year friend of mine(RIP, Hugh, I so miss you) & married me to the man I now presently care take. Not what I bargained for but the gift I have been given.
Moment to moment...that is all we have anyway so I choose to get into the now.

Please look into the books of Hugh's-you will find short reads that will change your life & help you. Please choose Love instead of fear/AKA guilt. However, saying this -be where you are & when it is time for you-it will manifest.
Blessings are YOU.
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The grief at your parent's independent life being over can be overwhelming. The very profound wish that you could do something so it does not have to happen can turn into a false sense of guilt. We want so badly for them to always be Our Parents, the strong and healthy people who will always be there for us...or if they were not strong and healthy, it is very hard to let go of the wish that they could still be the parents we needed them to be even in some small way. You grieve this loss as you do any other major loss - there is no one "right" way to feel or to do it, and you gradually accept what is happening and do what you can to make it as good as it can be. There may be some wonderful memories and good times still to be had, maybe even more now that you don't have as much worry about Dad being OK at home alone. And a lot of us feel guilty about that little feeling of relief we also experience. But make no mistake, however right and good the ALF decision may be, its a big loss and can hit like a ton of bricks emotionally.
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I think we have a responsibility to get our parents the best care available. Sometimes, the best care available is in an assisted living facility or nursing facility. Our culture has created a stigma around "dumping your parents some place and never going to see them." If you have checked the place out thoroughly and your dad is amenable, it sounds like this is the best care available for him. I suggest keeping close contact and visit at different times so you can be sure the care he is getting is what you want it to be. I know this is a difficult decision. But you don't need to feel guilty. You're doing the right things.
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I, too, have been in this situation, only for dementia with my Dad, who has not been placed for over a year...and now my Mom with early dementia and is still at home. I, too, had naively promised my parents that I would do everything possible keep them both in their home....never anticipating how they would fight everything when it came to them needing assistance to stay at home! I live 5 hours away and have a caseworker in their town to help me....and she was a tremendous help with my guilt.... The main thing is to come to terms with the fact that as our parents age and need help, the focus has to first be on keeping them SAFE. If they are not safe, it matters not if they are where they WANT to be, and furthermore, if you have POA or any other legal authority over them, and you are NOT keeping them safe, you are up for someone calling adult protective services to evaluate, and then, it can all be taken out of yours and their control where they go or what decisions are made.... I sold my parents on help in the home with that argument, after police had been called for welfare checks a number of times because they were yelling at each other in summer with opened windows and doors. I think the other change in thinking I needed to go through, was that I was to become a 'coordinator' of their care....NOT their 'caregiver'. As a retired RN, I understood coordinating care and helping people stay safe, but it was a new picture when it was my parents. They just couldn't have all the control anymore, because they were not capable of seeing that they were not safe. After going through placing my Dad, I've clearly told my Mom that I CANNOT promise she will always be able to stay home....and that decisions cannot be made that she likes if she will not cooperate with them. She still doesn't and is still marginally not safe, but I have an in home video monitoring system and neighbor support. I realize that I may have to curtail her driving and get in home help as soon as we clearly see unsafety outside the home. Dad adjusted to his placement, with meds so it became easier to visit with him, when he was no longer constantly asking why he had to be there and why he couldn't leave etc. The answer that always calmed him down, was to to explain that the doctors wanted him there, so he could get good care and meds to help his brain work better. He knew he had dementia. He knew how it might end up. He wanted to kill himself for months, to avoid the end picture, and believe, me, I had days after he was placed that I wondered why I fought that notion and stole his guns out of the house etc....because this can be so hard to live through! I NEVER imagined that as my parents aged, it would be like this...so I completely understand your feelings! I am Christian so I pray a lot and keep telling myself that God doesn't give us more than we can handle and there are reasons for the challenges. I use this experience to have open conversations with my husband and our daughters about what we desire as we age....and to help them understand that we will not give them 'conditions' or ask for 'promises' that perhaps cannot be made since we do not know what ailments and conditions we may face in the end days of our lives. Right now, I sit here with Dad placed, Mom and home, both with dementia, and am facing my husband going through a work up for possible Parkinson's Disease, which also has a dementia component, and I wonder if the rest of my healthy years will be as a 'caregiver' or care coordinator, rather than enjoying any part of my own retirement??? And then, I go pray some more, because I really have no answers beyond my own faith.
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I had a difficult time placing my daughter into a nursing home. I visited her in the mornings and I worked evenings. now I do not work and I have incredible guilt for not visiting her more. I think there is some kind of a correlation between being a caregiver and feeling guilt for some reason.
I spoke with the social worker about this just the past Friday. he told me that I need to also have a life and if I dwell to much about guilt and anxieties I would eventually be of no value to my loved one. so . so you must figure out a way to relieve the guilt. I'm sure you will eventually.
good luck
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"Assisted Living" as in he's living in his own apartment with no skilled nursing care?

Did he previously live with you?

The same thing happened with my dad. He went into the hospital after a fall and lying on the floor alone all day, then went to rehab, and I was approached by the staff that they were of the opinion that he stay there, in the nursing home. I had always told him that I would never put him a nursing home but I was so naïve. I had no idea what I would be facing on my own.

It was a very difficult transition for me. Since my dad and I lived together he paid his half of the household bills. I had to find another place and fast. I didn't work while I cared for him so I also had to find a job and fast. I had to pack up the house, decide which of dad's things to keep, which to throw out, all the while visiting with him almost everyday. We both felt out of control. The stress was indescribable, I've never experienced that much stress and upset in my entire life. I felt so guilty, like you do now. It's all I thought about. That promise I made to him shattered me. At the time he too was with it. One day I broke down and sobbed while sitting in front of him in his room at the NH. I put my head on his lap and told him how sorry I was. I didn't mean to fall apart like that but it had just been building and building.

People kept telling me to not feel guilty and I had my brother's support. But being told not to feel guilty, while I appreciated it, didn't help. I still felt guilty. My dad had many illnesses that were all creeping up on him and there's no way I could have cared for him alone anymore and I just had to keep telling myself that. I visited with him as much as I could and made sure he knew that I was still his caregiver. He went along with everything because that's the kind of guy he was. Never complained. He made it very easy on me, bless his heart. As I saw him rapidly deteriorate I realized that the staff had been right, that there was no way I could have handled that on my own. In time the guilt went away but until it did I had to just live with it and try to approach it logically as opposed to emotionally. There was absolutely nothing fair about the situation but I don't remember anyone ever telling me that life was fair.

We cope with it because we don't have a choice. You've done the right thing. I know it's a huge life change not just for your dad but for you too. Try to let go of the guilt. The people who kindly told me to not feel guilty had never been in my situation before. I've been in your situation and I know how you feel.
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