Overcoming the Guilt of Moving a Parent

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Making the Decision to Put Your Loved One in a Senior Care Community

How to Cope With Feelings of Guilt and Grief


“But I promised my parents I’d never put them in a nursing home…”

Years ago, you made a promise to your mom, dad, or other loved one that you would never make them move into a nursing home. Now, you are in the prime of your adult life and realizing that your parents simply need more care than you can provide on your own.

Does this mean that you must shoulder the burden of caregiving forever?

According to AARP research on caregiving, in the state of Ohio alone, 12.4 percent of residents are unpaid family caregivers. But there is another option: In Cuyahoga County, McGregor offers a continuum of care, from independent living and assisted living to skilled nursing care.

You may have made that promise years or even decades ago before the realities of aging and caregiving would impact you, your parents, and your entire family. If you are feeling guilty over moving your loved one to a senior care community, you already have their best interests at heart—and sometimes the move is the best option for you and them.

These are a few strategies to overcome the guilt associated with this decision.

  • Understand your reasons. Your primary goal is likely making sure your parent receives the care and support he or she needs.
  • Seek professional advice. Talk to health care professionals, therapists, or a member of the team at a local senior living community like McGregor.
  • Communicate openly. Have ongoing open and honest conversations with your parents to make sure this is ultimately a shared family discussion and decision.
  • Stay involved. Maintain an active and supportive role in your parents’ care. Make sure to visit regularly.
  • Connect with other family members. Consider whether you need to shoulder the decision on your own. Are there siblings, aunts and uncles, or other family members who can participate in your discussions?
  • Focus on quality time. Through the process, focus on creating meaningful, positive memories with your loved ones.

Ultimately, don’t hold yourself to a promise you made years ago: Prioritize your parents’ needs at this moment in time. Accept that you’re doing your best to make the very best and informed decision for their care and support. We are here to help you every step of the way.


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