Aging Parents: Why We Transition Our Loved Ones from Our Home to a Skilled Nursing Facility
Today many adults find they are not only taking care of their children, but their aging parents as well. Many of these families discover over time that caring for their loved ones in the home is no longer an option. There are also a great number of adult children who simply do not have the capacity, or ability, to care for their aging parents in their own home.
Some of the most common reasons we see when the decision is made to move aging parents into a skilled facility:
Amount of skilled care required- Oftentimes the type of care necessary isn’t something that the adult child is able to provide. For example a loved one may be suffering from a debilitating mental or physical ailment that requires a more skilled or professional level of care.
Parents don’t want to “burden” their adult children- Some aging parents do not want to live with their adult children, even when they are encouraged to do so. Many parents feel they are becoming a burden and would rather have a facility or institution take on their care. It is natural for parents to feel their role is to still care for their children. Because of this feeling, some parents may believe that the only way to do so, is by removing the burden of their care from their adult children.
Poor adult child and parental relationship- You may have a strained relationship with your parents and some unresolved issues from childhood or adulthood. In many families childhood may not have been a pleasant experience. Therefore the thought of living under the same roof with parents (both biological or otherwise) may seem daunting, or improbable.
Plan for care established- In some cases there is a plan for care already in place. Loved ones often plan for their care, and determine on their own, how they wished to be cared for and by whom, should the need arise. If this is the case your loved ones have saved you quite a bit of trouble and stress by clearing explaining what their wishes are in advance.
Whatever the reason(s) may be, the decision to transition your loved ones to more skilled care can be incredibly difficult and taxing. Adult children often feel guilty when making this, and some even feel a great deal of shame when moving their aging parents into skilled care.
I know from my experience in working in a skilled care facility and speaking with many families who have made this difficult decision, that one thing is common- they believe they are doing what is best for their family member.
When considering this move for your family it is best that attention be given not only to meeting their physical needs, but their mental health needs as well. This will ensure that they transition as smoothly as possible, and ensure their overall health and wellness in their new environment.
Danielle Sampson, LMSW
Intake Coordinator & Contributing Writer
Pace Counseling Group
Pace Counseling Group is a professional counseling firm located in San Antonio, Texas. We are focused on continuously improving the quality of life for our clients and their families. To learn more, visit us at Pace Counseling Group or call (210) 481-3727.