By: Linda Fodrini‐Johnson, MA, MFT, CMC
Founder & Chairman, Eldercare Services
In doing support groups for Adult Children of Aging Parents, I often see the only child feeling guilty about decisions or wishing they had a sibling to help with all the details of late-life family caregiving. However, when those only children do come to support groups, they see that having a sibling can be problematic as well as supportive.
The support group affords you that sounding board that a helpful sibling would provide, it also offers support for your concerns and gives you ideas and new ways of helping without burning out or risking a health crisis of your own from stress.
Whenever we try to be our own therapist we risk not seeing what needs to be addressed. Family care can bring up lots of old hurts and when you are doing all the giving and never receiving a “thank-you” it can build resentment, anger, and even lead to emotional abuse of the elder.
So, if you are an only child, join a support group and regain a balance in your life. Get that permission to take a trip or a day off. If you are having feelings of depression and stress, and it is affecting other areas of your life, see a professional licensed therapist who knows both the counseling elements and the eldercare resources.
Eldercare Services can help you with both. We do a free support group on the second Thursday of every month – call our office to confirm the meeting and time – 925-937-2018.