Do You Feel Guity For Not Visiting Aging Parents

The Burned out Caregiver

Burned out caregiver

If you're feeling burned out, it's common. Know that you're not alone

I met a woman, who we'll call Susan, the other day who put her aging mother into an assisted living community about two years ago. Over the course of these two years Susan's mother has been in three different communities (for various reasons), had four hospital stays, been in skilled nursing for 60 days - all the while saying she wants more independence.

When Susan moved her mother to her city to help take care of her in assisted living, she didn't realize the toll it would take. Initially, she was excited to have her mother nearby. She made sure her apartment was nice and that she had all of her favorite things. She stocked her with green tea, little Debbie cakes, and so on.

With the senior care community only a couple of miles away from her house, she swung by every day for the first six months or so. It was great catching up and just being around each other. Then, every-other-day for the next year - it became more of an obligation. Given that she worked from home, she felt it was an easy hour or so to manage.

A Solution for the Guilty Caregiver

What Susan didn't realize, though, was that the "hour" wasn't like a flipped on/off switch. She began thinking about her mother, her illnesses, her aging, the other seniors, and her lack of time for herself and her own family, all the time. She worried about her mom's loneliness and began to feel guilty that she didn't make more attempts to visit. Going to the assisted living facility crowded out fun, excitement, spontaneous, and frivolity in her life.

Susan began visiting once a week or so - she thought this would help. But, it intensified her level of worry and thoughts about her mother. Was she okay? Were the caregivers keeping her apartment clean? Were they dressing her appropriately? Did she have everything she needed?

That's when Susan called Penrose Senior Care Auditors, a service that visits seniors wherever they live, conducts a 7-Factor Audit composed of 150 items (e.g. cleanliness, supplies, clutter, senior observations, etc.), and immediately emails a report back to their clients.

Susan said, 'I understand that you can visit my mom and let me know how she is doing.' When I shared our services with her, I heard her exhale. She was very thankful thinking that if we were to audit every other week, then she could handle the weeks in-between.

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