Cheerful elderly man seated in a wheelchair while being held by his loving wife outside at home during the day

Managing the Guilt of Putting a Parent in Assisted Living

Big changes are hard at any age – especially one as big as moving into a new home. But after living at the same address for years if not decades, a move can be even harder, especially when it’s a move to assisted living.

While some seniors find it simple to settle in their new home from day one, it’s not so easy for others. But most eventually come around and recognize that their new neighborhood is the right place to be – and that some of the things that bothered them at first are actually beneficial!

Looking for an example? Think about downsizing. It’s tough getting rid of things we own, especially if they’ve been around for a long time. But the upsides to downsizing – like worrying less about upkeep and housekeeping – quickly outweigh any potential negatives.

When it’s done right, senior living is rewarding in so many ways. Socialization and activity are around every corner – including fitness opportunities for the health-minded. Compassionate, friendly caregivers and delicious, nutrition-focused dining help complete the picture.

Of course, moving is a major life decision – and with big changes come big emotions. It’s common for the adult children of seniors to feel guilty when their parent is unhappy in assisted living. If your mom or dad aren’t adjusting to assisted living, our guidance can help make the move more seamless.


How long does it take to adjust to assisted living – and how do you deal with an unreasonable elderly parent? These are two big questions that folks like you ask themselves every day. Like most life changes, the best way to adjust is simply giving it time. You can’t process their emotions for them, but you can listen to them and give them advice. For more on this issue, read this article from Psychology Today.

Whether you’re placing a parent in memory care, assisted living or independent living, try these tips to help them feel at home:

Take time to breathe.

It’s normal for your parent to feel totally overwhelmed by the moving process, especially if they haven’t done it in years. Give them time to sit back, reflect and absorb the move. Remind them to think about what they liked about their old home and what their new space needs to feel as warm and welcoming.

Keep them active and engaged.

Living in a new place doesn’t have to mean changing how you live your life. Make sure your loved one chooses a community that offers scheduled transportation or other solutions so they can stay plugged in to the activities they love to do. It’s important that they can still safely leave the community to attend church, club meetings or other recreational activities, so be sure to ask about how the community can help them get around.

Plus, if they weren’t satisfied with the activities and hobbies they were involved with before they moved, there’s always something new to try. While participating in any activity at Carnegie Village is always voluntary, the potential for great new friendships means they won’t want to miss out. We frequently host educational events and social activities that will entertain, enlighten and inspire your loved one.

Senior Couple Eating Meal And Talking In Retirement Home

Bring a bit of home.

What’s the best way to make a new apartment feel like home? Bringing a little bit of your loved one’s last residence to their new place. While downsizing means getting rid of a lot of stuff, they’ll have plenty of room for personal items like photos, plants, mementos, collectables – all the little things that turn a house into a home.

To ease the transition, you might consider trying to make their new place as similar to their last one as possible. For example, placing furniture in familiar places – dresser to the right of the bed, floor lamp next to the couch – can bring a little bit of the old décor along and make their new digs feel more familiar.

Get connected.

Need something? At Carnegie Village, we tailor the living experience to each person’s unique experiences, needs and preferences – the driving motivation behind our YOUNITE program. YOUNITE ensures your loved one has:

  • Resident choice
  • Dining excellence
  • Appreciated, responsive staff
  • A feeling of home
  • Community involvement

When your loved one moves in, they’ll learn all about our community and participate in a life history survey on their unique likes, dislikes and preferences. And if you have a question or concern, don’t hesitate to say something – we’re always looking to take constructive critique and get better at serving older adults.

It’s all about them.

From the very first moment your loved one enters our community during their tour, they will enjoy high-touch, personal service designed to make their living experience as good as possible. It’s something we call our All About You Signature Program. An ambassador will guide them and help them get familiar with our community and the people who live here.

A healthcare service provider talking to a senior woman.

Involve family and friends.

Want to make their new community feel like home? There’s no better way than having the people they love around them. When you can, bring their favorite folks to Carnegie to enjoy lunch or take part in one of our activity programs.

We’re here to make moving easier in any way we can. If you haven’t visited Carnegie, take this chance to plan your private consultation and see what we have to offer.