Our parents are likely the most influential persons in our lives, shaping us from an early age to become strong, independent, well-respected adults. For some of us, they are like anchors in a storm, keeping us grounded and giving us a strong sense of safety and well-being.
When a parent reaches the point where they can no longer safely live independently or we are unable to handle the day-to-day tasks that come with caring for their needs, it may time to consider retaining an in-home caregiver or selecting a retirement home or assisted living community.
They may have suffered a stroke or other disabling physical event, or they could be dealing with Alzheimer's Disease or other mental afflictions. Either way, we are still forced to continue managing our lives - going to work, paying bills, handling household duties, and caring for our own children.
A parent may become a hazard to their safety or the safety of others completely unintentionally through the effects of age, illness, or physical limitations, and we are not adequately equipped on many levels to provide the level of care necessary to sustain their well-being.
Having an elderly or ailing parent relocated to a retirement home can often cause us feelings of guilt because we think we should be doing more personally.
After all, our parents did give us all the care, love, and attention they could while we were growing up - so shouldn't we return the favor when they need the same? Rather than looking at a retirement home or assisted living facility as a place to abandon your parents to the care of others, you should look at it as a labor of love and a testament to the level of affection you have for them.
Retirement homes are staffed with attentive, compassionate, and caring people who do all they can every day to ensure that the residents of their facilities are given a high quality standard of living.
They also properly dispense needed medications, handle routine and emergency medical needs, provide assistance with managing daily tasks, and even provide simple things like a friendly face or someone to listen when your parents want to talk.
In a retirement home, you parent would also be in the company of many other people of their age group, giving them an invaluable support network of peers to keep them company, help them make new friends, and give them other people with which to engage in social activities.
The only time you would truly abandoning a parent after relocating them to a retirement home is when you neglect to visit or call, or avoid communicating with them as much as possible.
The transition from independent living to dependent living can be a stressful one for all parties involved, so if this is an option you are considering for a parent, do your part to ease their mind and let them know you want them to relocate to a safe and welcoming environment because you love them.