The Ultimate Dilemma

So you're faced with the worst that could happen to your parent? They have to go into care.

They have always said “Don’t ever put me into a rest home, will you dear?’ and now you are faced with the inevitable. You will have to break the promise. You can’t look after her. You may still be working yourself; you may be looking after a grand child; she may be just too hard to look after; you may just not be able to bring yourself to be a full time carer for your parent.

No matter what you promised, when the reality arrives you are hit with the guilts – BIG TIME.

So what do you do when faced with this situation?

There is no one right way, or even an easy way to deal with these situations. You have to look inside yourself and be truthful, with yourself, and with your parent. This is probably the hardest thing to do.

Being truthful to yourself, will free you up to get on with the job at hand – getting the right and appropriate care for your parent.

Being truthful to your parent will enable you to have an authentic relationship with them. Being truthful means to say what is really in your heart, that you love them, your really care for them but you cannot look after them yourself. You need help. By being able to say I love you, and I will make sure that all your needs are met and I am still going to be there for you, will enable you to enjoy your parent when you visit them. You will devote all your time to them when you visit rather than snatches here and there when you have time within your busy schedule.

It will free you from resentments towards them, for when think you are finally free from being responsible for others and free to enjoy yourself, you find you are saddled with yet another responsibility – your dependant parent.

So by being honest with your parent, and making time to be with them in the residential care home, will bring much more joy to both of you in your relationship, rather than the built up resentments you may create by having to give up aspects of your lifestyle to take care of the parent.

If you skirt around the issue and say things like, “Just come here till I sort myself out” or “It isn’t forever your know” or “Just wait till you get better” when you know that none of these things are true, is not only giving them false hope but more importantly you are only fooling yourself. The parent will see right through your insincerities which may well result in some very difficult behaviours from your parent.

I do not know why it is so hard to tell the truth to our loved ones. The bible says “the truth will set you free” This is true. Being untruthful to yourself and your parent will shackle you to a life of misery. Not only will you have to remember what you have told your parent, for the brain only knows the truth, you will be constantly saying new lies to keep them happy – or so you think. The reality is, neither of you will be happy for the lies have locked you into a prison – a personal prison you have created for yourself.

The best gift you can give to both you and your parent is honesty. Your parent is not stupid, They know the reality, and unless they have a dementia which may prevent them from remember what you said, they will understand.


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