Only Child with Aging Parents


Only Children Forums Discussion Forum Only Child with Aging Parents

This topic contains 10 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  sam 5 years, 3 months ago.

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    Adult only children have anxieties about their aging parents. Article discusses this situation, with details on Sick Parents and the Only Child, Long-Distance Relationship with Parents, and The Only Child carrying the burden of sole responsibility and
    what you can do in these circumstances.

    [See the full post at: Only Child with Aging Parents]

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  • #8064


    Hello all,

    I am the only child of divorced parents. I was raised by mother. My childhood can be described as both lonely, and full of guilt and insecurities. It grew up seeing my mother struggling between her work which provided a decent pay but toxic/unforgiving work environment, and taking care of me. Hearing her complaining about how life is hard towards her made me live in constant guilt, resentment, and fear of future.

    As I teenager, things got nothing but better. Anything bad happens, I was the only person to blame. I was given unrealistic goals while described as a failure. Add to that feeling inferior to my peers due to an over protective parent who does not let me even take my own decisions and forces me to endure humiliation on a daily basis.

    After getting a job at one of the most prestigious companies in my country, I moved to another city. My mother joined me after that since I felt bad for her living alone. Lately, a job opportunity came out and I will have to leave the country for an extended period of time. She is still relatively not that old (early sixties) but I feel like I can see her aging fast, especially when I see our old pictures. We don’t fight anymore giving the fact that I am paying for the rent and my own needs, or maybe because she is getting older .. I am not sure.

    Now I don’t even know what to think. I have mixed feelings..
    Sometimes she asks me whether I will leave her to die alone..

    I wish she had a better relationship with her siblings, I wish I had someone to share the load with. Sometimes I just think that I have had enough of this burden and constant guilt, and that I should just live my life and create a family and not look back.

    What do you guys think?

    Thank you



    Dear Karen, you see them EVERY weekend. Your parents may feel lonely or they may be manipulating you into feeling guilty. Perhaps, they also expect you to come over more often because you are unmarried. They need to understand; tell them you have a job & that job pays for their medications, wheelchairs, insurance, mortgage…etc. Explain in detail so they can be grateful for all that you are doing.

    How about introducing your friends to your parents so they may entertain them when they can.

    All the best Karen 🙂



    I’m an only child that lives close (20mins) away, I see them every weekend and call everyday. I have no children but married with two dogs. But they say I never come over. Am I doing enough?



    Really hits close to home. My fiancee lives across the country working while I went back to school and am living back at home with my parents. My mother recently has gotten ill (currently able to manage, but unknown when it will turn for the worse), and unfortunately, has not been supportive with me moving for a few years to where my fiancee has a great job. It is so difficult being torn between two people you love the most.



    I must say, It’s refreshing to see others in the same predicament. I was adopted by two great people. Being separated by many miles can prove to be very challenging for an only adopted child. My dilemma is my parents want me to move back home. I’m unable to do this at this time. I’m worrying about them aging and not being there for them. I think I’m going to need at least another year.

    Thanks for listening,



    A lot will depend on how old the parents are. Just saying.


    Dennis T.

    This post provides plenty of good points. I am not an only child, but I would see why some of these things would be difficult to deal with as one.


    James Wright

    This is something I’m often scared about. I’m an only child and I moved away to be with my wife. My father is starting to get sick and my mother can’t take care of him herself so they had asked me to do it. I have children and a home of my own, so the only way to make it work would be for them to move to me. I hate uprooting them from their home, but there’s nothing else I can do. I have a good job and I would be able to take care of my parents thankfully, but if I move back, I wont have the money to support them.






    This rings so true for me!
    Growing up, it was a privilege being an only child. Although I dreamt of having a sibling from time to time, more often than not, I was actually very happy to be an only child. I made up imaginary older brothers, and that was enough. My friends had crazy stories and complaints about their siblings, and I did not envy them at all!!!
    However, now that I have become older and will soon start a family of my own, I think about my parents. Both are in good/excellent health, but I worry about what will happen when they get older. Both are independent people, and not the types that would want, for example, a bunch of people crowding in their hospital room if at all they were sick. But how long will they be totally independent, strong, and more importantly, mentally alert. I know is is a few decades off, but this thinking gets triggered when my friends talk of their grandparents (mine are all gone).
    I am very close to my parents, my dad is like a buddy to me, mom my always loving and affectionate mom. I still enjoy the time with them – as much as I enjoy my time with my husband. As I get older (and mom and dad get older), I have begun to cherish every day I have with them.
    Thanks for the article, and I’ll come back often and check. Best to all onlies out there with ageing parents 🙂

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