Finding Peace

Dear Mary,

My parents are both in declining health. My Father has been in the nursing home for about a year and a half and my Mother just joined him in the nursing home about 5-6- weeks ago. They are being taken care of. My brother is the nearest caretaker and handles a lot of situations.

I live 600 miles away.

I know that this situation is for the best for everyone, my parents and my brother especially. However, I don’t feel good about it at all.

I just visited them in April and I could visit them again. I’m not sure this will help me feel any better.

How can I be at peace with their being in the nursing home?

Thanks for your advice,

Melissa D.

Dear Melissa:

Finding peace is a journey of its own. Consider all the different ways you can maintain connection with your parents and your brother. Visits, regular phone calls, letters, and emails help everyone feel up to date and closer. It is possible that each person will need something different and consider your own needs too. Some elderly people like to have more interaction in the morning when they feel the most rested. What works best for you? Could you call them on Saturday morning? Could you exchange care-giving information with your brother via email? What works best for him? Brainstorming options and deciding on thing to try will help you find your workable path. Whatever you decide, it will be important to acknowledge what is working and be flexible.

Continued visits will help you to see and judge how well your parents are really doing. It will also let you be a part of their lives and give you an opportunity to enjoy them and their new home. It could be a fun and amazing time for all of you.

Over time, I gained peace with moving my parents. My comfort was directly related to my trust in their new home and caregivers. Over time, as my parents’ health continued to decline, I could see that our family needed help caring for our parents. We could not do it alone. It truly does take “a village” to help aging parents. My real peace came when I knew that I had done the very best I could for them, based on the resources available to me.

Good luck with your journey!

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