The relationship between an adult child and an aging parent carries a certain level of obligation. Depending on how their relationship was when growing up, there may also be shame or guilt. What many don’t realize is that it will likely evolve and reach a new level and that has some depth to it.

Right off the top, there is conflict with how you are going to be a caregiver, work your job, take care of your own home life, your church, and participate in volunteer activities. Also known as a juggling act, splitting your time into equal parts for all those that need your attention and consideration is a challenge and will be difficult.

What can obligation and guilt feel or look like?

• There are unresolved issues with your loved one.
• Am I doing the right thing and providing the best care for my loved one?
• They took care of me; I need to take care of them.
• I am the only one who can meet all their needs.
• If I don’t devote all my time and energy to my loved one, I will be judged.
• Ignoring your own issues – personal, health or financial.

What can be done to combat these feelings?

• Acknowledge them as legitimate emotions and feelings.
• Confront and resolve issues with your family or in your personal life.
• Recognize your strengths and don’t focus on the negative.
• Make time for yourself.
• Taking time out helps you put your situation in better perspective.
• Know that you are making the best decision for you and your loved one.
• Deal with unresolved issues or accept them for what they.

Reach out for support from family and friends; seek caregiver support groups or professional help to work through your feelings of guilt.

Know that you are not alone. It seems that obligation and guilt can be perpetually kept alive by sweeping issues under the rug, until someone is ready to deal with it. Once you have acknowledged the feelings, you can reach out and begin the caregiving journey. Most of all, remember that you are doing the best that you can.

Dealing with or not dealing with your existing feelings can take its toll on the caregiver and their loved one. For the sake of doing the right thing reach out to us and we’ll help sort out what is needed for your loved one. We can help evaluate the situation and make plans for taking on tasks that need to be done but are getting neglected because of unresolved issues. We can help find the best caregiving solutions and help with family mediation. As a resource to the family and the aging individual, we work to help ease worry and stress for all involved family members. Reach out today by phone (920) 740-8441 or email us at with any lingering questions or concerns you have about your aging loved one and their plan of care, and we’ll be happy to assist.