As your parents age, your relationship with them will change. One expects to be able to hold on to the same relationship dynamics from when their parents were in their 50s. But the reality is that both you and your parents have changed as people. The sooner you accept this, the easier it will be to deal with the feelings that arise out of the realization. Here, we describe three emotions that you might experience along the way, particularly after they have moved away from home.
As your parents age, they are likely to get physically weaker, and they might need help living their day-to-day lives. As their child, you cannot imagine them in this limited capacity. They will be needing assistance more and more, and you may experience guilt for not being able to provide them with that assistance yourself. If you send them to a nursing home, you might feel guilty for not being able to look after them yourself. How should you deal with this? The best thing to do is to make the decision that benefits your parents in the long run. If they need specialized care, they will be better off living in an assisted living facility. In Phoenix, Arizona, there are a large number of assisted living facilities that you can compare and choose among. Your parents will be happier living in a community of similarly aged people. You can even choose a place catered to their interests, such as nature.
As your parents grow older and move away, it is normal to feel nostalgic about the past. You may find yourself reminiscing about your childhood or wishing that you had spent more time with your parents. Cherish this feeling because it will help you form a stronger bond with them. Use memories of the past as a bridge to the present. Try to focus on enjoying as much of the present as you possibly can by doing activities that you can still do as a family, such as going on vacation or even as simple as going for a drive. Make the effort to go visit them when you can.
Feeling relief after sending your parents to an assisted living facility is not unnatural. Try not to interpret this feeling of relief as there because you have gotten rid of responsibilities. Rather, think of it as a relief because you have finally found your parents the care they need. Make sure that you have found the best facility for them, one in which they will get round-the-clock care, participate in community activities, be cared for by friendly nurses, and enjoy good amenities. If you have delivered on your responsibilities as their child, you deserve to feel relief.
If these emotions coming up are too much for you, you can always share them with a friend, partner, or even a licensed therapist. The most important thing is for you to experience the full range of your emotions in a healthy way.