How do you navigate the challenges of moving a loved one into an assisted living facility?

Jul 23, 2023
I wish I could push a button and make this all go away. Source: Getty

The topic of assisted living is a touchy one for many older people. But as we age, many of us are faced with this, whether it’s a parent, a partner, a friend, or a family member.

My partner and I have been caring for her mother for close to five years. It’s been very rewarding on many levels having her with us until the past year. She’s starting to go downhill rapidly. 

We are spent. My partner and her younger sister want to put her in an assisted living facility, where she can be surrounded by a good medical staff, and people who are younger and more able-bodied.

But the older sister will have none of it. You see, she doesn’t want to spend the money on the proper care of our mother. She wants Dorothy’s money for herself.

Over the past five years, there has been so much finger-pointing from the oldest sister with horrible accusations flying back and forth. 

Her stubbornness has taken a tremendous toll on all of us who are getting older ourselves and not able to handle the task of caring for Dorothy. It is emotionally, physically, and psychically toxic.

My partner is now dealing with a heart condition and I can’t deal with taking care of her mother on my own, because I have mobility challenges. 

I know many older caregivers deal with these issues with their loved ones and family members. The stress of caring for a loved one can sometimes take a tremendous toll on those who are taking care of them.

I had a friend who recently passed away after caring for her brother, mother, and her ex-husband. She told me that her health issues were no doubt related to the years of stress she endured from caring for them. She neglected her diet and exercise regimen. She finally got lymphoma, and she spiralled downward after that.

I need to protect my honey’s health and my own. The other sister feels the same way, but she is bullied by the older one who insists on getting her way.

I wish I could push a button and make this all go away, but we still have to continue dealing with one another until Dorothy passes.

At what point do people decide to move their loved ones into a facility? Do people wait until there’s a fall? Do they wait until the caregiver’s health fails as well? Is it because of money?

I would appreciate input from any of you who have had to deal with this type of challenging family dynamic. It’s not pretty. 

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