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Guilt, questions
Posted: Thursday, November 24, 2022 6:01 AM
Joined: 11/3/2022
Posts: 21

I am faced with putting my dad in MC. He lives alone since my sister passed in August, she lived with him her whole life. The doctor when we just visited said he should not be alone. I spend 5-6 hours a day with him. I have no other siblings and my mom has passed away too. 

He is aware enough to know where he would be going but doesn’t really understand that he has dementia. The doctor even said explaining it to him is pointless as he will just forget. This part is hard for me, I know we have to tell creative fibs but it just feels so awful with such a big move.

We are going to figure out next steps with a nice facility tomorrow. 

I know that he needs more than I can give and like the doctor said I cannot be there 24/7. There is just so much guilt with making this decision for him, without him. Guilt that maybe I should be doing more.

I am already waffling on taking next steps because of course not doing it would be easier.

Having guilt also because I would get pieces of my life back like taking walks with my husband and seeing my kids more.

This forum has already done a lot for me. Just looking for some experiences, guidance and help.

Thank you!

Posted: Thursday, November 24, 2022 6:46 AM
Joined: 6/14/2021
Posts: 684

Sorry you are at this point in the journey.  Yes there is the feeling that one should be able to manage, but unless you wear tights and a cape as super heroes do, it is not always possible.

It is time to get out the guilt scale.  On one side you put all the things that you feel you are not able to do.  On the other you put all the things that a good MC facility can do for your Dad.

I think you will find that it is your love, care and concern for his welfare that will help you to lighten the guilt.

If you can see that it is to his benefit to be placed where there are multiple people doing what you are trying to do alone, it will also help.

You are not doing this for your benefit, but his.  It will also allow you to have more quality time with him.  

It is never easy to make these decisions and it will take time for you both to adjust.

Wishing you both peace of mind and heart.

Posted: Thursday, November 24, 2022 8:26 AM
Joined: 7/16/2019
Posts: 19

This is such a tough position to be in. I was in a similar place the past 5 years - two siblings live out of state and I am the primary caregiver for my mom who has Alzheimer’s. In the past five years I have taken her car away, moved her to an independent and then an “assisted” living and finally to a memory care where she has lived for almost one month. I was visiting her 3-4 days a week for at least a few hours each day not including the 45 minute one way drives. It eventually got to be too much to manage despite the cameras I installed and the gizmo watch I used to track and call her . I cried at night from the guilt of moving her to a “secured” facility and taking away her “freedom”. The reality is she was spending a lot of time alone, not eating well, she was confused at night and would end up with random bumps and bruises that no one could explain.

Once you get past the guilt, which is very very real, and the transition of the move, because it will take some time for him to adjust, you and your father will likely be much happier and less stressed. He will make friends and have people around to talk to or just sit with. They will make sure he eats well and showers and will be able to notify you of health or behavioral concerns. It’ll be a team and not just you responsible for his care. Then you can go back to being a daughter and a wife and a mother and not feel so much like your torn between these roles. 

My mom was really confused and frustrated at first. We saw her neurologist roughly one week after she moved and he increased her Zoloft from 25-50mg which has made a big difference. Sometimes she sleeps in her room and other times she sleeps in the main living room on a comfy chair around some of the other guests. I still keep a camera there so I can call when she’s in her room… but it has given me so much peace of mind knowing she won’t wander away or cross the street or miss meals anymore.

It’s a difficult decision to make but it’s the best decision you can make for him.

Wilted Daughter
Posted: Thursday, November 24, 2022 9:06 AM
Joined: 12/30/2019
Posts: 206

This is such a hard decision to make and although you may feel guilty (putting dad in MC, so you may go for walks with husband...), look at it from a different viewpoint/advantage point. 

Dad requires more care than you can provide right now, he will be safer, if nothing else, in MC. When making this decision for placement thinking about what's best for the whole family,  balancing your thoughts (pros/cons) on placement should give you a feeling of acceptance. It's not what you want to do but it's what's best for dad/family. Don't feel guilty about doing what's best for you. Instead ponder on how you can research the best placement and create a schedule for dad to remain active and engaged while in MC. Perhaps he can come visit on holidays. I recently learned that hospice provides services within facilities, so maybe as part of your search contact hospice agencies in your area to inquire. You are now building a team for dad to provide all the services that can't be provided by you alone.

Initially you may feel that you should/could do more and beat yourself, but that's wasted energy. You can only do what you can do and your mind, body, and soul will let you know what that is. I went through this feeling of guilt with my dad, many years ago, and today sometimes think about how I could have done more when I look at his picture or remember him. I feel guilt and exhaustion, now, with my mother when making decisions to take breaks (respite). 

I realize that I can not properly take care of someone before I take care of myself. may feel difficult now but it will be okay. 

Wishing you positive thoughts, wisdom to make decisions and happy holidays. It may not feel like it now, but this may be the best decision of the year...look at it from a different broader view. 

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Posted: Thursday, November 24, 2022 9:12 AM
Joined: 4/17/2018
Posts: 1191

Klako. I have had to place my wife who is still pretty much with it. Guilt sure, deserved never! You are being a great caregiver given the set of circumstances you face. Your right doing nothing is easy, but it doesn't solve your dilemma.i hope you have a great Thanksgiving and in the days to come help for each day. Keep posting we are all here to share our burdens


Posted: Friday, November 25, 2022 3:50 PM
Joined: 7/17/2020
Posts: 325

DO NOT FEEL GUILTY. We all reach the point where we can no longer do enough for our loved ones, and it is time to turn the job over to someone else. I haven't reached that point yet, but I know that it is coming. When it gets here, I will do what I must, and I will not feel guilty about it because I will know that I've done all that I could. You need to do the same.
Posted: Friday, November 25, 2022 4:13 PM
Joined: 9/21/2017
Posts: 1699

It's a sad milestone in life but not one deserving of "guilt" , which , to me, implies wrong doing. Regret, sure - not a path anyone would choose but guilt- never.

You probably don't give your children the unvarnished total truth- to protect them or because they can't understand [or couldn't when little]. Not spelling things out for your Dad is the same thing . You're protecting him and making decisions for him . And he's fortunate to have you.

This is a really busy time of year for care homes - holidays people see how their folks are doing and have to make plans , folks recovering from influenza get placed so it's in your best interest to get going researching . to maximize you choices. [Assume you have all the legal things in place, if not seeing an elder law attorney is a good first stop- to get the paperwork and medicaid advise].

You can do it .



Posted: Friday, November 25, 2022 5:13 PM
Joined: 4/7/2019
Posts: 501

Hi Klako,

I understand exactly how you feel. The guilt for me was almost overwhelming (I placed my sister in memory care a little more than a year ago).  When I look at it objectively, and with the benefit of time passage, it's not really guilt even though it feels like guilt.  It's regret, a deep sadness, and maybe an unfriendly reminder that this disease is progressive, no matter how much we want to wish it away.

Coming to terms takes awhile, but you'll get there. Yes, we as caregivers get some of our lives back when we move our loved ones to memory care, but that's not why we did it. In my case, I did it because Peggy needs so much more care than I can give her.  In memory care, she's safe. She has a lot of interaction with people - so many activities, including "happy hours" (no alcohol). She's exactly where she needs to be.  I'm sad she's there, but I'm also grateful that she's there, if you know what I mean.

Wishing you the best.


Posted: Friday, November 25, 2022 10:59 PM
Joined: 10/8/2022
Posts: 7

Guilt and worry surrounding your decisions for your loved ones are totally normal.

We worried about moving my grandmother out of her home of 40 years, in fear that it would not be what she wanted. Or that it could make her condition worse, moving her into somewhere she was unfamiliar.

We transitioned her move by having her live with a family member for a few months before being moved to assisted living or memory care. By the time she moved into her new place she had completely forgotten about her old home.

This sounds sad, and it almost felt like tricking her. Decorating her new place to resemble where she lived for so long. But after seeing her thrive in assisted living, this guilt dissipated. 

I hope that it will be the same for you. If your dad doesn't transition as easily, keep reminding yourself that you are making these decisions out of love, necessity and what you believe to be the best for your father. 

I am sorry your family is going through this now, and I wish you ease through this transition. 

Posted: Saturday, November 26, 2022 6:50 AM
Joined: 11/3/2022
Posts: 21

I wanted to thank all of you for sharing your stories and support. This forum has been a Godsend to me. I know I am not alone. This disease is just so sad and draining as you all know.

Many, many thanks to all of you! I am sure I will be back as we navigate this path.