Overcoming Guilt: 7 Assisted Living & Memory Care Decision Steps

Moving a loved one to an assisted living or memory care community can be an emotionally challenging decision. Guilt, in particular, can be one of the strongest emotions to deal with. Getting over guilt when placing a loved one in assisted living or memory care can be challenging, but finding peace with the decision is possible with time and compassion.

At Sunny Vista, we offer assisted living and memory care in Colorado Springs, and we are accustomed to working with families who may need guidance in making this important decision for their loved ones. The following are common questions—and potential solutions—people can turn to when facing this situation. 

parent and son

1. How do I deal with guilt and sadness about not being able to care for my loved one at home?

Many strategies can help people cope with and eventually overcome feelings of guilt. The first is to recognize and accept your feelings as valid. Allow yourself to acknowledge and express your emotions without judgment.

Remind yourself of the reasons why you decided to move your loved one to assisted living or memory care. Focus on the benefits and the positive aspects that led to this choice, such as their safety, well-being, and access to necessary care.

Finally, seek support and understanding. Talk to friends, family members, or support groups who have been through similar experiences. Sharing your feelings with others can provide validation and help you feel less alone in your journey. 

2. How do I know if I am making the right decision for my loved one’s well-being and safety?

Determining if you are making the right decision by placing your loved one in assisted living or memory care requires careful consideration of their needs, safety, and well-being. Start by evaluating their current living situation, health condition, and level of care needed. Consult with medical professionals and social workers to gain comprehensive knowledge of their care requirements.

Consider your abilities and resources to provide adequate care at home and whether you are able to provide good care. Reflect on the impact of caregiving on your physical, emotional, and financial well-being.

Tour and research different assisted living and memory care communities, ensuring they meet your loved one’s preferences and have trained staff and proper amenities. Seek feedback from residents and families to gauge their satisfaction with the community.

Engage in open communication with your loved one, addressing their concerns and wishes regarding the move. If their safety, health, and quality of life will improve with assisted living or memory care, and you have carefully considered all factors, it may be the right decision. Trusting your instincts and seeking professional advice can provide valuable guidance in this emotionally charged decision-making process. 

3. How can I be sure that my loved one will receive the care and attention they need in assisted living?

Assisted living receiving careEnsuring your loved one receives the care and attention they need in assisted living involves thorough research and active involvement. Learning more about the residence and the care provided can help alleviate your anxiety and concerns. Knowing that your loved one is in capable hands can ease feelings of guilt.

In addition to checking the state licensing and compliance of communities, you should research different assisted living residences in your area and visit them in person. Look for well-established residences with positive reviews and reputations. Assess the community’s cleanliness, safety, and overall atmosphere during your visits. Observe how the staff interacts with residents. Look for signs of warmth, respect, and attentiveness in their interactions. 

4. How will I cope with the separation and potential feelings of loneliness after my loved one moves into assisted living or memory care?

Coping with the separation and potential feelings of loneliness after your loved one moves into assisted living or memory care can be challenging. Recognize that feeling a sense of loss and loneliness after your loved one moves are normal.

Allow yourself plenty of time to process these emotions without judgment. Instead of dwelling on the guilt, focus on making the time you spend with your loved one meaningful and positive. Cherish the time you spend with them during visits. Plan meaningful activities together and make the most of your time together. While the separation may be difficult, try to focus on the positive aspects of your loved one’s new living situation, such as the specialized care and social opportunities they may now have. Sunny Vista welcomes and encourages your daily involvement. You will always be involved in making decisions for your loved one.

5. How can I stay involved in my loved one’s life and care while they are in assisted living or memory care?

assisted living residentBeing involved in your loved one’s life and care while they are in a new community can help you feel connected and reassured. Visit regularly, participate in activities together, and communicate openly with the staff and your loved one. Have open conversations with your loved one about their feelings, needs, and desires regarding the move. Understanding their perspective can help you empathize and find a shared understanding. 

6. How can I handle disagreements or concerns with other family members with differing opinions about this decision?

Dealing with other family members who have differing opinions about placing a loved one in assisted living or memory care requires effective communication and a willingness to listen to each other’s perspectives. Show empathy and understanding by actively listening to the concerns of other family members. Validate their emotions and acknowledge their points of view, even if you don’t fully agree. Emotions can run high during these discussions, so be patient and understanding with each other. Avoid pressuring anyone to make a decision immediately.

Ultimately, if you cannot reach a consensus right away, agree to take some time to reflect and research further before revisiting the discussion later. 

7. How can I take care of myself emotionally while navigating this significant life change for my loved one?

Practice self-compassion: Be gentle with yourself and avoid self-blame. Remember that you are doing your best to ensure your loved one’s well-being and safety, and that is an act of love and care. Take care of your own physical and emotional well-being during this time. Engaging in activities that bring joy and relaxation can help you manage stress and guilt more effectively.

Don’t hesitate to see a therapist or counselor if the guilt becomes overwhelming and interferes with your daily life. A professional can help you process your emotions and guide you on coping strategies. 

Assisted Living and Memory Care in Colorado Springs

Remember that placing a loved one in assisted living or memory care is often necessary based on their needs and circumstances. It doesn’t mean you love them any less. Embrace the journey and the opportunities to create new memories with your loved one in their new living environment. Over time, the guilt may subside, and you can find peace and acceptance in your decision. Families can be confident that although they can be involved as much as they want with loved ones and their new residence, a community like Sunny Vista also means they can enjoy their role as spouse, son, or daughter rather than caregiver.

The comfort of knowing your loved one is part of an award-winning community recognized for its exceptional quality, services, and overall performance can also be invaluable. Sunny Vista Living Center and The Retreat have received the Pinnacle Customer Experience Award in 2022, 2023 & 2024, with care providers consistently achieving best-in-class customer satisfaction standards based on what residents and families say about their customer experience. 

SV Pinnacle 2



To learn more about the supportive environment at the acclaimed community at Sunny Vista, contact us today. 


Share this post