The first few steps on a care-giving journey can seem fairly simple but within just a few days the path turns rocky and is full of turns and twists that confuse even the most experienced caregiver or capable family member.

The Caregiver Foundation is a Hawai‘i-based, not-for-profit organization that supports the practical and emotional needs of caregivers and those they love. Its Caregiver Support Groups are complemented by extensive on-line support at The support groups meet once a month at various locations, where caregivers learn about issues from experienced professionals. More importantly, the groups provide caregivers an opportunity to share their experiences, frustrations and successes. The popular four-session Caregiver Boot Camp is held, free, wherever requested.

The foundation also provides direct services, ranging from professional money management to comprehensive care coordination services. Some services are provided at no cost and others have fees at substantially lower rates than found commercially. Community speakers, family consultations, resource articles, and an on-going information and referral service are just some of the foundation’s services.

Along the way of care giving, you might discover that love is not enough. What do you do when taking care of loved one at home doesn’t work?

Telling Mom she was moving to a nursing home was the hardest thing I have ever done …

Moving your loved one to a nursing home is difficult. He or she may feel abandoned, unloved, rejected. There may be angry accusations and emotional pleas. You may even feel guilty for making the decision.

But GUILT is an emotion that results from having done something wrong and identifies actions that should be changed. It is often misused in care giving. If we took Mom to the side of the forest and left her there, then we would have done something wrong, and could feel appropriately guilty.

Choosing a nursing home is not deciding to give up caring for your loved one. It is recognizing your own limitations and understanding that sometimes the best care is not always your care. And the best place of care may not be in your home.

Choosing to move someone to a home has to be done after taking into account the broader situation. Remember—there are no right choices— every decision you make is wrong for somebody. So caregivers often deal with feelings of regret, anger, failure, disappointment and grieving. These emotions require that you have patience with yourself. Try to understand your loved one’s feelings, and have a clear understanding of how the facility operates.

The Caregiver Foundation of America—Hawai‘i Chapter helps caregivers, and those they love, with practical and emotional assistance. Visit or call (808) 625-3782.