Caring isn’t easy and it is quite normal to feel lonely, misunderstood; unappreciated and angry about what is happening to the people we love. Question Mark

However much care we give our elderly loved ones, decline in strength and health is usually painful and it can be very discouraging to know this is happening despite our best efforts. Unfortunately there are no magic formulas or training manuals and we just have to strive to do our best.

Sometimes it becomes necessary to make unpopular decisions about “what is best” for people we love. This can make us feel as if we are betraying them or letting them down in some way, which was certainly the case when we made the decision to move my Mother into a care home. Although we considered every possible option and I knew there was no other way Mum could be looked after because of her obsessive dependence on my father whose own health was deteriorating, I felt guilty at being unable to come up with a solution that would have enabled them to stay together.

Guilt is an emotion commonly associated with caring for an elderly relative and it can sometimes cause us to delay making a decision, until suddenly it reaches a crisis.

However, I would advise you to avoid making life-changing decisions during a time of crisis if you can. Consult with health and care professionals, discuss the matter with your relative and other family members, make the decision and know that you have done the best you can.