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Coping with Guilt: 7 Myths About Choosing Residential Senior Care for Your Loved One

“My parents cared for me when I was young, and now it’s my turn to care for them.” This is a common sentiment to have, but 52% of seniors require some type of long-term care service.

Between work and raising your own kids, you may not have enough time to devote to caring for your aging parent’s physical, emotional, and social needs. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to know when to place a parent in residential senior care.

With this often comes a sense of guilt. But the truth is, residential senior care is often the best choice for your parent’s wellbeing as well as your own mental and emotional health.

Are you still worried about choosing residential senior care for your loved one? Keep reading as we dispel 7 common myths that may have you worried.

1. The Staff Is Overworked

With so many seniors requiring long-term care, you may worry that there’s not enough staff to go around. What if your parent isn’t able to get the care and attention they truly need due to an overworked staff or an understaffed facility?

This can be even more worrisome if your loved one struggles with dementia or Alzheimer’s. However, a senior care home may be your best option. There are homes that have a 1:3 ratio, offering one staff member for every three residents.

2. Senior Care Facilities Are Uninviting

The word “facility” often brings to mind images of hospital-like buildings, full of sterile and cold white walls. But most senior care facilities today are designed to feel warm and welcoming.

If you really want to ensure your loved one feels comfortable, you can opt for a senior care home. As the name suggests, these are actual homes. They’ll typically get their own bedroom and bathroom and share the living room and kitchen with a small group of other residents.

3. Your Loved One Can’t Take Their Belongings with Them

When your loved one is already giving up the home and neighborhood they’ve lived in for the past 40 years, the thought of asking them to also give up their belongings can be too much.

Your loved one will likely be downsizing when moving into a senior care home, but that doesn’t mean they have to give up everything. Some residential senior care options, like a home, will allow them to decorate their bedroom and other personal space with their own furniture and belongings, and there may be some storage area for seasonal items as well.

Your loved one will likely find that they have plenty of room to bring the things that matter, like books, photo albums, artwork, and other sentimental belongings.

4. You’ve Failed

Part of caring for your parents is knowing when to call in professional help. And yet, one of the hardest parts about placing your loved one into a senior care home may be dealing with feelings of guilt and failure over this decision.

In reality, admitting that your parent needs more help than you can give and taking the steps to find the right senior care home for them is the best thing you can do. Focus on trying to give your aging loved one the best care possible, even if that means they can no longer stay at home.

5. The Food Is Bad

Seniors often struggle to cook healthy meals for themselves. Sometimes they lack the motivation to do so, especially if they live alone. Other times, they may not have the physical energy or mobility to cook.

Senior care homes and facilities can provide your loved one with healthy and delicious food. In senior care homes, staff members prepare home cooked meals for the residents to enjoy. If your loved one likes cooking, they are free to help out.

Of course, with a fully stocked kitchen, they can also help themselves to snacks throughout the day.

6. Your Loved One Will Have to Give Up Hobbies

Hobbies are a great way to help seniors remain active and enjoy their golden years. Senior care homes and facilities understand this and do all they can to help residents continue to pursue their hobbies.

Facilities typically schedule outings to places like malls and parks. They also often organize activities, such as bingo, and may even have separate music or art rooms.

However, senior care homes are able to take this one step further. Since there are fewer residents living in a home and there’s often a richer staff to resident ratio, staff members can provide personalized activities to match your loved one’s interests and hobbies.

This may include bird watching, taking part in religious activities, watching sports, enjoying music, baking, and crafting. Looking at photo albums is another great activity that can help your loved one reminisce. This can also help trigger memories if your loved one is suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s.

7. They’ll Be Lonely

Unfortunately, 20-30% of seniors are lonely. If your loved one lost his or her partner and has friends who have moved away or passed, they may be part of this statistic.

Moving them to a senior care home can help. They’ll have their own room to maintain privacy, but they’ll also have ample opportunities to socialize with the other residents. They may watch TV, cook, or play games together.

Additionally, staff members often provide companionship that can prevent your loved one from feeling lonely. Of course, family members are also encouraged to visit, so your aging parent will have plenty of opportunities to socialize.

When to Place a Parent in Residential Senior Care

Caring for an aging loved one is hard. But knowing when to place a parent in residential senior care ensures that they get the help they truly need. While there are some myths surrounding residential senior care, the truth is that most homes offer good food, the privacy of their own room, ample chances to socialize, and plenty of qualified and professional staff members.

Are you looking for a safe and comfortable senior care home for your loved one? Contact us today to schedule a tour at our homes in Roseville or Shoreview, MN.