The decision to place a relative, usually a parent, into an aged care facility is often difficult to make emotionally for the family. Feelings of grief and guilt are quite common and in my role as an Aged Care Consultant to these families I often witness these strong emotions. Some of the feelings felt, particularly by those that have been hands on carers can veer between any of the following:
Grief and loss
Loss of identity
Feelings of failure
For many carers there is a great sense of grief at the loss of the companionship of their relative and even the loss of the routine they once had. They may no longer feel useful or valued, perhaps even losing a sense of identity. Guilt can come into play and can cause a family member to feel a need to blame others for their relative having to move into residential care and they may be angry at other family members for not being supportive.
Recognising that this is a time of immense upheaval, both for the carer and elderly person moving into an aged care facility, I felt I needed to provide a level of professional support to my clients to help them move through this transition with grace. I gained a Diploma in Professional Counselling and became a member of the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. As well as providing a professional service in seeking out the most suitable aged care, I can also alleviate some of the stress experienced by families by negotiating the fees and doing all the paperwork necessary. My clients have appreciated the support and understanding I offer, as well as my professionalism and ability to move them into care with as much ease as possible.