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Adult Children: How to Reduce Feelings of Guilt

Judie Rappaport
May 9, 2014

Dear Judie,

I recently moved dad (89) to a nursing home and I can’t get over feeling that I somehow failed him. I cared for him in my home for five years, but when his needs escalated to 24-hour care, I couldn’t afford to hire someone or quit work. Now, I hate visiting him because it makes me feel guilty that I put him there.

- Brad, Chicago


Dear Brad, 

Moving a parent to a nursing home can be one of the most heart-wrenching tasks caregivers face. Guilt and stress often keep hurting after the move, because every time we visit our parent we also revisit and reassess our decision. That brings up the emotional turmoil all over again. A nursing home may not have been your first choice, but when you could no longer provide the care dad needed, it may have been the best choice for his safety. Try to step back and recognize your achievements. Start with the thousands of times you helped and loved dad when he needed you. You cared for him in your home for five years. When he needed more care than you could provide, you overcame your pain and found the help he needed. Do it again: help dad and yourself by joining a caregiver support group at your nearest hospital or Alzheimer’s organization. If you cannot find a support group, consider seeking private counseling to help acknowledge your successes and find the peace of mind that will allow you to visit dad and maintain your own quality of life.



Judie Rappaport, President & Founder
Preferred Lifestyle Services

Trust Yourself. You Have the Knowledge, Insight,
and Power to make the right decisions for you and your parent. ©


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