You’re the only child of an aging parent. Or perhaps you’re just the only one involved, since your siblings can’t or won’t help. Either way, your role offers double the joy, or double the trouble. Or some of both, depending on the day.
Last week I sat across the table from a devoted–and understandably perplexed–only son of one of our residents. His mom was exhibiting dangerous behavior; assisted living or an adult family home was the answer. But this feisty woman would have none of that!
“I’m not sure what to do,” her son said. Our Executive Director started a conversation about behaviors, options, and next steps. At the end of our time together, we had an initial plan that we could come together to evaluate soon.
“If your mom must leave her apartment, I will tell her,” our Executive Director said, adding, “You don’t need to be the bad guy. Your job is to be the son.”
Good advice for any only child–or the only one caring the load. Lean on friends and professionals whenever possible. Shelve the guilt or the martyr role.
That way, you can be what you’re destined to be. Your aging parent’s child. Period.