Mar 15, 2024 | Uncategorized

When your loved one is no longer comfortable, safe, or happy at home, it’s time to make the transition to Assisted Living. But when that time comes, there are many emotions involved.

Below are four steps that will help you navigate the worry, turmoil, guilt, and fear you may be facing.

Step 1: Acknowledge That This is a Transition for You, Too. 

As a family member, you’re not the one who is getting a new mailing address. You aren’t acclimating to a new community.

But it’s important to acknowledge that, as a family member, you are going through a transition too.

This can mean a big change to your daily routines. For example:


Before the Move to Assisted Living After the Move to Assisted Living
Your loved one is living with you or receiving care from you. Releasing care to someone else 
You worry about your loved one being left alone or being safe at home With support from a facility, more safety and monitoring are available
Seeing your loved one at home Making the trip to visit
Financial costs are managed primarily by you You may find the cost of living in a senior living community to be less than your current cost of living
The focus of your relationship may be physical care When you get support with physical care, you can embrace the emotional connection with your loved one again. 
Stress from the demands of being a caregiver.  Having support frees up your time and energy, which can lower your stress level.  


Some of these changes feel like a breath of fresh air, while others might feel scary. 

No matter how you are feeling, it’s important to acknowledge that this transition is happening to you, too, not just your loved one. 

Be patient with yourself.

Step 2: Understand Your Guilt

One of the most common feelings family members experience is guilt.  Why?

We create a false narrative about what is going on. For example, we might tell ourselves:

I’m sending my loved one away because I’m selfish, and I’ll be happy they’re not living with me anymore. 

Such statements may have a tiny bit of truth, but they are a twisted perspective. For example: 

You may be happy that they won’t be living with you anymore because you can focus on the integrity of your relationship rather than the daily management of health. You may be happy they aren’t living with you since you no longer have to spend every day worrying about them. After all, you’ve found a trusted and skilled community to take that heavy burden off your shoulders. You want the best for your loved one and yourself. 

False narratives can be pretty convincing when they’re rooted in a little kernel of truth. 

Try This!

If you’re struggling with false narratives and guilt, try this exercise:

Write out your false narrative.
Ask yourself, “Because?” three times and fill in the rest of the sentence.

For example, I feel guilty about sending my mom to Assisted Living…

Because I’m totally overwhelmed and I can’t care for her anymore….
Because, in my heart, I know I’m not giving her the quality of care she deserves, and it’s not manageable or safe at home anymore….
Because I love her and want the best for her health and safety.

When you expand your false narratives and get to the root, you can see the full context and remember why this is the right transition given your loved one’s needs.

Step 3: It’s Okay to Still Be Worried

At the end of the day, you’ve been caring for your loved one for a long time. Whether it is weekly check-ins, in-home care, or something else, you have a routine that takes up your time and worries.

That worry doesn’t evaporate just because you have selected the best Assisted Living option.  In fact, for some people, worry actually increases.

By no longer having complete and total control over your loved one’s care, we can feel like we are spinning. We start to worry endlessly:

    • What if they struggle to make friends?
    • What if their staff doesn’t remember our daily routine, and it upsets them?
    • What if it doesn’t go as we planned?
    • What if, what if, what if?

All of this worry is a sign that you love this person very much and want the best for them.

While we can’t make the worry go away, try these strategies for navigating your concerns; 

    • Visit your loved one often
    • Communicate frequently with their care team
    • Talk to your loved one, family members, or a counselor about your concerns

All of our suggestions involve other people. After all, community is one of the best solutions when we’re feeling uncertain or nervous. Lean into your support system.

Step 4: What Are You Waiting For?

Your loved one making the transition to Assisted Living is going to affect you, period.

There will be joys and fears as a direct result of the change.

The trick is to accept them as they come and lean into even the uncomfortable feelings so that you can unpack them. 

Don’t let your fear, guilt, or worry get in the way of a transition that will improve your loved one’s care, quality of life, and ability to connect with family. 


Chatham Place at Mary Wade is more than an Assisted Living facility—it’s a family home. Our residents are part of our extended family, and that means we work with your loved one to create the best experience possible. Our dedicated team and administrative staff collaborate with you and your loved one to ensure a smooth and safe transition to your new home. Learn more about Chatham Place by giving us a call today: (475) 655–0886.