In her book, How to Care for Aging Parents, Virginia Morris identifies Ten Common Reactions to Having a Parent in a Nursing Home:

1. Guilt that you are not doing enough for your parent
2. Anxiety that the nursing staff will not do enough for your parent
3. Guilt because you promised you would never put your parent in a home
4. Anxiety about whether you will end up in a nursing home
5. Guilt that your parent is not in a nicer, more expensive home
6. Anxiety over the high cost of the nursing home your parent is in
7. Guilt that you do not visit your parent more often
8. Anxiety about having to visit so often
9. Guilt for feeling relief that your parent is in a nursing home
10. Anxiety that it will not work and you will have to devise another care plan or find another facility

How to deal with these feelings:

  • Accept the fact that you will experience sorrow, guilt and anxiety
  • Discuss these feelings with your pastor, a friend or the Home’s chaplain
  • Pray for relief and wisdom
  • Remember, love often requires us to put our loved one’s needs before their, or our, wants
  • Do not forget you are doing your best

As you go through the process, always remember this is a difficult decision for your children or loved-ones too.

Morris, Virginia. How to Care for Aging Parents. New York: Workman Publishing Company, 1996