Friday, April 11, 2008

And Promises to Keep

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It is common for family members to make promises to loved ones about their future care. The most common promise is that they won't ever move a loved one to a nursing home. Other promises may include keeping their parents together if one of them needs care, or that they will always be the ones to provide care for their aging relative. These promises are almost always made in good faith, with full intention of honoring them.

Unfortunately, we can't always foresee the future and circumstances change. Almost always, this leads to enormous guilt about the inability to uphold the promises. I would encourage you not to make promises of this type, no matter how well intentioned. Instead, promise your aging relatives they will always be provided with the very best care for their needs at the time. This type of promise assures them you are looking out for their needs, and is less likely to cause guilt and resentment on your part when the time comes.

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