Common Changes to Expect
Common Changes to Expect

Part 4: What are possible physical, mental and spiritual health changes?

These are changes in physical, mental and spiritual health that you may experience when your family member/friend moves into a care facility.


  • Fatigue
  • Sadness
  • Loneliness
  • Feeling like an outsider
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Guilt
  • Relief
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Appetite changes
  • Feeling confused
  • Mood swings
  • Grief
  • Loss of faith
  • Loss of identity
  • Isolation
  • Denial

Examples from others who have experienced these changes:

"You feel like you've lost control."

". . . and one must continually come and deal with waves of loss."

"You go out and you leave and the door behind you locks. All you could see was his new pyjamas and his eye in the door, that cracked double door and you are left with that. It was the hardest thing and the most difficult day of my life."

"Then at night, well, that was the worst part because I couldn't sleep . . . I was going downhill myself. Losing weight . . . it was just turmoil really."

"Uncertainty is a worry."

"You're in the forest and you can't get out."

"It's like survivor's guilt, in some ways; like, you feel you are surviving and living your life, and they're not. So it's kind of like being the only one off the train wreck. But is it guilt or is it grief? They talk about that ambiguous loss, because you've lost the person-you know, you've lost who that person was, but they're still there and there's still parts of them there."

"The psychological stress on the caregiver, you know. Everybody is very focused on the person who has the disease, . . . and a lot of the caregivers, . . . they're the ones dying first, probably from stress."

"A lot of it is . . . €˜cause you're in denial about it. We're conditioned to take care of that person and . . . not complain about it."

"And then the stigma when you do put them in. You've got the people that are saying, €˜it's about time you put him in', and then there's the other people who are, like, €˜he didn't seem that bad. You were managing'. You know, €˜How could you just warehouse him?'"

"You have to find it (hope) within yourself, uh, and just what gives you pleasure each day with friends and family."