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Mixed feelings after a loved one goes 'into care'?

Giving up a caregiving role is difficult. You’ve probably invested a lot of physical and emotional energy in supporting your spouse/partner, relative or friend to remain at home for as long as possible.

When the decision is made to go into a care home you may experience conflicting feelings – relief that you are no longer the person solely responsible for another’s care, sadness that the day has come that may have been dreaded, ambivalence and guilt. You have probably also anticipated your loved one’s response to this decision. Anger, tearfulness and quiet resignation can be hard for you to cope with. Remind yourself that this decision has not been reached without careful consideration.

This is often a time of great loss for you too, so if possible, surround yourself with people who can offer you support. Initially you will notice the loss of a familiar routine and over time a changed and sometimes better relationship between you and your loved one. Having more time for yourself will also allow you to do things you didn’t have time for in the past and to develop new interests and pastimes. It is important to plan for your own future too.

Updated: 11 Jun 2024
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