I will try to keep this brief… please bear with me, but if anyone understands, please reach out.
I was caring for Mum and Dad for several years - well mostly caring for Dad actually so he could care for Mum (Dad has severe mobility issues and is profoundly deaf - mum had Alzheimers and Parkinsons). Anyway, Mum died nearly 4 years ago which meant Dad only had to care for himself (with me in the wings!) Then last year, after a series of falls, a suspected stroke, several hospital admissions and a Parkinsons’ diagnosis Dad is now permanently in residential care…
He is well looked after so I have no problems with his care provider (he is fully self-funding)
But every waking hour I carry this guilt around with me that I should have done more, been there more, so that he could carry on living independently. Every day that I don’t visit him in the care home I feel guilty. I am starting to feel guilty for trying to get on with my life while Dad is stuck in a little room, even though I know he is fine and being looked after.
Guilt… Hmmm I need to try and shake this off

Did you make dad old, infirm? No, of course you didn’t
You did your very best, but sadly your parents became old, and had to pay the price, infirmity.
On the other hand, some people died before their 60th birthday, never ever getting a chance to enjoy retirement.
Sadly, my husband died of a heart attack at 58.
You did your best for your parents. Feel PROUD of what you did for them. Feel SAD that dad cannot live at home anymore, but please don’t fee guilty.

Have a read …

All your emotions are normal but now is the time to reflect. You’ve done your very best!

Dad is safe and comfortable and you are happy with his care.

Guilt is one of those emotions that kicks in to keep us on the straight and narrow, but in most people it seems to be hypersensitive. I suppose it’s a hark back to our caveman days, protecting the tribe. I dunno. But it’s a nuisance because it kicks in when there’s a need to, and when there isn’t. This time is one of the times when it needn’t.

You supported your Dad to care for your Mum and did that successfully, until, sadly, she died. You supported your Dad to stay at home for about 3 years until his health deteriorated so much that it wasn’t viable. Here’s the guilt bit. Your guilt feelings are telling you that you’re Wonder Woman. That you could drop everything to care for your Dad and keep him at home.

To do that you’d have to be awake 24/7 because he could fall at any time, help him with some very personal care - which he might not be comfortable with you doing, as his daughter - and put your life on hold. For years. And all the while damaging your own health. Because the truth is that if he falls, it’s a two person job to help him up again. With or without a hoist. Any less and it’s a risky business for everyone concerned or dial 111/999 for assistance. And a four hour wait at least with the current load on paramedics.

I understand that you feel responsible, but as I’ve said many times, you took responsibility to make sure your father got the care he needed. For quite some time, that care came from you. You’re still taking responsibility for his care by making sure he’s happy where he is and receives the care he needs. The only difference is that you’re not the one doing it.

It’s easy for me to say this: you’ve no reason to feel guilty. The hard part is going to be convincing yourself. But, as the others have said - you’ve done the right thing, and your Dad is safe and cared for. And, truly, that’s enough.

Thank you so much for your replies and for taking the time to offer support. It certainly helps to rationalise how I have been feeling xx