When it is time for an elderly person to enter a nursing home, many relatives experience guilt, grief and a sense of loss. Caring for someone can be exhausting, especially when that person has challenging behaviours such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. If the disease gets worse over time, it is likely that they will have to be moved into residential aged care. Often the person who has been caring for that person (often a close family member) can feel guilt and grief over making this decision.
As the main carer you may feel guilt about
Placing your loved one in aged care
Not being able to keep them at home for longer
Making past promises which you can no longer keep e.g. ‘I’ll always looks after you’
Carers who deal with people with dementia can also feel guilty about
Feeling embarrassed by the person with dementia
Past lost tempers or anger
No longer wanting to care for the person with dementia
These feelings and more are normal and people experiencing them can take comfort in knowing they are not alone and that it is okay if they have reached a point where the have done all they can do, but need more full-time care.
A residential aged care facility can provide 24-hour professional support for the elderly person’s situation and facilities with a dementia-specific ward are often available.
Source: Alzheimer’s Australia: Looking after families and carers
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