Brickmont Assisted Living Blog

How to Talk to Family When You’re No Longer Able to Provide Senior Care

Posted by The Brickmont Assisted Living Team on Oct 15, 2023 8:00:00 AM | 4 minute read


Caregiving is an act of love and support, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard work. Caregivers experience many hardships throughout their journey, including feelings of guilt and overall caregiver burnout.

For many adult children, stepping in as a loved one’s primary caregiver seems like the natural thing to do; however:

  • What happens when you realize you’re unable to provide senior care? 
  • What do you do when you can no longer juggle the responsibilities of your personal life with your caregiving duties? 
  • What if you realize that your loved one requires a more professional level of senior care? 

At Brickmont Assisted Living, our team understands the significance of providing quality senior care – but we also know it can be overwhelming and challenging. We’re sharing how you can talk to your family when you realize you can no longer serve as a primary caregiver for someone you love.

Take Time to Reflect

Realizing you can no longer provide senior care for a loved one might lead to moral crossroads, especially when you think about how your family and loved one will react to your decision. 

Setting boundaries and admitting you can no longer provide care will save you from emotional and mental burnout and can lead to a positive change of shared caregiving responsibilities and open communication. 

While you sit with your final decision, here are some important things to reflect on to help you gather your thoughts, feelings, and justifications to share with your family. 

Acknowledge Your Feelings

You might feel complicated emotions, from guilt, sadness, or even anger at your decision. Feeling guilty is common when a person realizes they can’t care for a loved one. For instance, it might even feel like you’re abandoning your loved one, or you fear your family will think of your decision as selfish. 

However, this decision is not just about you - it’s about doing what’s best for your loved one, which might mean looking for additional care options. 

Be Realistic About Your Capabilities 

Don’t think of your decision as a negative one; consider it an important observation in which you’ve discovered you are not equipped to maintain your caregiving responsibilities. This could include a variety of factors, such as:

  • Personal factors, like family or career
  • Finances
  • Time 
  • Mental or emotional health

No matter the reason, identifying your own capabilities and lack thereof is vital, and shows how much you care about your loved one. 

Start an Open Conversation with Your Family

When explaining any difficult decision to family members, it can create complex family dynamics and has the potential to bring up uncomfortable emotions. Past issues with siblings or other relatives might come back to the surface, or other relatives might resent your decision and worry they’ll have to step up into the role of caregiver.

It’s essential to begin with inclusive, open phrases to guide the conversation and clarify to your family that you aren’t forcing anyone into specific roles or trying to tell anyone what they need to do. Here are some examples:

  • “Here are my thoughts…”
  • “I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on potential next steps…”
  • “Does anyone have any ideas?”

Explain that you’ve reached your capacity and need extra help, and if you receive any negative feedback, remain calm. Ask your loved ones to consider the situation from your perspective; when people imagine themselves in the shoes of others, it can often provide a brand-new point of view.

Consider Assisted Living in Atlanta

Once you’ve successfully expressed your need to change how your loved one receives senior care, it’s time for your family to decide how to progress into the future. 

Assisted living is one of the best options for older adults who need extra assistance with daily tasks. Brickmont Assisted Living provides outstanding care and services designed to meet each individual’s unique needs. Our communities offer a range of senior care, from minimal assistance to 24/7 support, allowing residents the freedom to maintain their independence while living a full, enriching life.  We invite you to contact us today and discover how our Atlanta assisted living communities can help your family.

Our Brickmont blog serves as a helpful resource for older adults, caregivers, and families. Subscribe to our blog to stay up-to-date on industry trends, senior health tips, and Brickmont Assisted Living communities!

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