How Family Caregivers Can Deal With Expectations and Guilt

Caregivers in Aurora

Caregiving can often come with a lot of guilt. Adult children typically want to be there for their aging parents, but life often gets in the way. These children are stuck in the middle, with full-time careers and their own children to raise while they try to find time to spend caring for their parents. Even when the siblings come together to create a caregiving plan that helps care for their parents, sometimes it’s still not enough in the eyes of their mother or father.

Sometimes parents have preferences and expectations for which child they would like to care for them. Usually they prefer the daughter, since women are typically considered to be caregivers. But if the daughter doesn’t live nearby, this is not always feasible. While this can be a frustrating situation to deal with, there are ways to deal with it so that feelings aren’t hurt and the parents get the care they need.


Many times, expectations are unspoken but expected to be understood and met. This hardly ever happens and leads to resentment. Siblings should have a meeting before their parents need care and decide upon certain roles.  Who is closest? Who can provide certain needs and perform specific tasks? While it might be beneficial to get the input of the parents, ultimately, it doesn’t matter which child the parent prefers. The goal is to have everyone work together to give the care their parents need.

Don’t Distance Yourself

Parents sometimes have unrealistic expectations. When adult children don’t meet these demands, they may withdraw. This only leads to more negative feelings, such as neglect, annoyance and guilt. A better way is for the child to show empathy. You should understand your parent’s wishes, but in the same token, inform them that you have limitations and can’t meet these expectations. While it may be unfortunate, it’s a part of reality and your parent will eventually have to accept it.

Focus on the End Result

In the end, it’s not how the parent receives care, but that he or she receives the necessary care. Whether family caregivers perform all the care or an in home care provider comes in a few times a week to help out, the goal is to create a caregiving plan that fits everyone’s needs – not just the desires of the care recipient. It’s unreasonable for a parent to expect everyone to drop everything to provide care, but with everyone’s help, a senior can continue living in his or her home for as long as desired.

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver services in Aurora, contact the caring professionals at Staff Relief Health Care 24/7 at 905.709.1767.

About Susan Di Michele

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