Should an 18 year old be expected to become a full time caregiver?

A fellow caregiver asked...

I am 18 years old and getting ready to go to college. I will also have a part time job to help pay my own expenses ( with no help from my mom and dad). My mom who does not help me at all with any of my expenses, expects me to be a full time caregiver for my grandmother. I love my grandmother but I feel it is not fair for my mother to expect this of me. Where can I go for help?

Expert Answer

Dan Tobin, M.D. is the author of books and articles focused on the practical and positive aspects of family caregiving.

Hi:

Being a young family caregiver is stressful and it sounds like you are being asked to do a lot. It may be possible for you to talk to your Mom and explain that you can not do all she expects as you need your own time to work and relax.Maybe the two of you can find someone else to share the load.

I do not know how well you are getting along with your Mom so it is hard to know what the next best steps are. Communication is key so try and get some help with how best to talk to your Mom about the siuation.

Take care

Dan Tobin