Relieving Guilt after Placing a Loved One in a Nursing Home

Moving your parents into a nursing home can be a very difficult experience for everyone involved. The stigma involved with moving into a nursing home is often negative. You may feel like you are abandoning your loved ones, putting them in a poor environment, and that they will resent you for your decision.

One of the biggest issues most people experience is the overwhelming feeling of guilt they have about placing family members in a nursing home. It is important to take the time to alleviate these feelings of guilt and go through whatever steps are necessary to help you accept that you are making the best choice for everyone involved.

Do Your Research Before Deciding on a Nursing Home

It is important to know that you are putting your loved ones in the right hands. You will not be able to fully open up to the idea that you are making the right decision until you know that they are in the right environment.

Pittsburgh nursing home abuse attorney Hal Waldman has over 30 years of legal experience, in addition to his experience owning and operating nursing homes. He recommends that people take advantage of data that is available to them. Government agencies go to nursing home facilities to check for negligence and this information should be easy to find online. Look for a five-star facility to ensure that the home you are selecting will have passing grades across the board.

Find Support From Others

You are not alone in this decision and should seek out friends that have been through the same situation. Doing this early can help you get first hand experience of how the move went for other families, and help you make a better decision of where to place your loved one.

Finding a support system going through this situation with you can help to alleviate feelings of guilt. You can also help build a community of people in and out of the nursing home that can come together to watch out for each other by befriending family members of other nursing home residents. This can make the situation feel like you made the right choice eventually, and help to create a better environment for your loved ones.

Forgive Yourself and Accept it was the Best Decision

While we always want to be there for our family the best decision you can make for them is sometimes the hardest. If their health is declining and it is becoming hard for you to offer them the best care then you need to accept this, and seek help through a professional nursing home.

Nursing homes can provide around the clock care that you might not be able to provide, and at some point you should forgive yourself for realizing that it is ok to ask for help so you can both live more comfortably. Nursing homes are equipped to deal with making daily tasks easier for elderly to handle. It is also possible that your loved ones will be able to develop bonds with the other residents who are going through a similar situation. Through this they can see that they are not alone, and hopefully earn ways to cope with losing the ability to do simple tasks they might not be able to do anymore.

Seek Out a Mental Health Professional

Most mental health professionals will recommend that you should seek out professional help if you are feeling depression or anxiety that lasts longer than 3 months. If you are in an adjustment period it is normal to feel uncomfortable while everything around you settles. If you find that you are still unable to shake the feelings of guilt or even depression about the recent nursing home decision you should consider speaking with a professional about how you can cope with these feelings.



Marie W
Marie W9 months ago

Thanks for posting.

Ruth S
Ruth Sabout a year ago


Chrissie R
Chrissie Rabout a year ago

Thanks for posting.

Cindy S
Cindy Smithabout a year ago

most are hellholes

John W
John Wabout a year ago


Ann B
Ann Babout a year ago

almost ALL facilities are under staffed and the clients suffer

Sharon S
Sharon Sabout a year ago

Sometimes there is no choice as was the case with my in-laws.

Danuta W
Danuta Wabout a year ago

Thank you for posting.

Chad A
Chad Aabout a year ago

Thank you.

Julie W
Julie Wabout a year ago

Angela, I'm not familiar with 'in home care'. Here in Australia you can pay a carer privately, which costs a fortune if they are there 24 hours a day. $25 an hour is the going rate.Or there is subsidised government home help, up to 10 hours a week which is not enough.. So often people are left with little choice if they have to work for a living.
It must have been so much easier when people had large extended families that could share the responsibility.