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Therapy for Family Caregivers and Their Siblings

Therapy for Family Caregivers

Explore the benefits of therapy for family caregivers of aging parents.

There are particular milestones we might encounter in our lives that, though not always negative, are known stressors. Losing a job. Starting a new job. Getting married. Getting divorced. And one that we in the home care industry are especially mindful of: the physical and mental effect on family members who are caring for aging parents.

A lot of conflicting emotions crop up for anyone in the role of family caregiver, and they are increased when trying to share responsibilities with siblings or other family members. There are past resentments and hurts which might resurface, conflicts pertaining to decision-making, as well as the stress when trying to navigate what feels like a role reversal with a parent who once took care of us.

For these reasons and more, family counseling tends to be a wonderful addition to a family caregiver’s toolbox to ensure the absolute best possible care for senior parents, as well as his/her own emotional wellbeing. Here are several advantages of therapy for family caregivers as parents grow older:

  1. It provides care for the care provider. Agreeing to the role of family caregiver may be daunting in and of itself, but factor in additional responsibilities, such as managing a home and caring for children while maintaining a job, and you have a recipe for stress. Family therapy helps caregivers work through challenging emotions and reach solutions.
  2. It offers support through grief. Grief comes in many forms, and frequently begins during the early stages of caregiving for senior parents, as family members work through the inherent changes taking place now and to come. When a senior parent is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia, the decrease in cognitive functioning brings about yet another degree of grief. A family therapist will help all people in the family to work through their grief together.
  3. It helps the family as a unit. A family therapist focuses on arriving at precisely what is best for the whole family as well as its cohesiveness, through challenges such as issues connected to inheritance and other financial concerns, medical decisions, and any complicated family dynamics.

If in-person therapy for family caregivers is not possible as a result of geographic constraints, continued COVID-19 distancing concerns, or another reason, phone or Zoom sessions can be equally successful. The key factor is for involvement to be a main priority for all family members involved, and to make therapy appointments a regular routine.

If you need a partner to provide reliable respite care services while you devote the time necessary for family therapy, give us a call at (954) 486-6440 for help from our professional caregivers in Fort Lauderdale, FL  and surrounding areas. With both a dependable family counselor and the aging care professionals at Responsive Home Care on your team, your family can overcome caregiving-related obstacles and enjoy good quality time together.

Best Ways to Avoid Crossing the Line From Motivation to Bullying with Aging Parents

Ft. Lauderdale senior home care

Sometimes the words we use when speaking to our elders can do more harm than good. Learn how to uplift seniors with these helpful tips!

As a family caregiver, you no doubt encounter a variety of emotions during the day: shared laughter over a joke with your loved one; worry due to a health concern; and of course, occasionally, irritations. We want only the best for people we love, and if an older adult is resistant to doing something we know is beneficial, it may be hard to choose the most appropriate reply.

The important thing is to try to supply motivation and encouragement, while also being cautious not to cross the line into bullying the senior. These tips are important to remember:

  • There’s no one-size-fits-all. An approach that has worked in one situation is possibly altogether ineffective in another. In the event a loved one refuses to take a bath, for example, you could simply prefer to let the matter slide and attempt again another day. Or, maybe reframing bath time into a relaxing spa activity will carry some more appeal. Including humor may work nicely one day, whereas using a kinder, softer tone of voice may be the answer on another. Having a number of strategies at the ready can help cut down on irritation for both of you.
  • Encourage the senior to remain in control. Have a heart-to-heart chat with the older adult during the course of a relaxed, peaceful moment to obtain suggestions as to how the caregiving relationship is going, and what she or he wishes to see modified. It is essential to then take to heart the older adult’s feedback and incorporate it into your caregiving approach.
  • Be careful to avoid progressive bullying. Although we certainly would not set out to bully a loved one into submission, it is possible to slowly move from encouragement and inspiration into pushiness and forcefulness without noticing it. Take an honest look at your inclinations in speaking with your loved one, and then take steps to improve upon them as needed.
  • Remember the overarching priority. Apart from the many tasks required in delivering care for a loved one, preserving a healthy, happy and fulfilling relationship with one another is vital. If you realize that the worries of providing care are outweighing the rewards for either of you at any time, there is always the possibility of exploring alternate care options such as in-home respite care, letting you place your focus on spending quality time together with the older adult you love.

Responsive Home Care is the ideal partner for family caregivers. Our caregiving staff are highly trained and skilled in the many areas of senior home care, and will provide the assistance family members need to preserve healthy relationships with those who they love. Contact us online or call us at 954-486-6440 and request an in-home consultation to discover the difference respite care can make in both a senior’s total well-being and yours.

Compassionate Caregiver: Helping a Parent with Cognitive Challenges Navigate Early Holiday Displays

Caregiver Hollywood, FL

Caregiver Hollywood FL

The summer months have returned which means it is time to start thinking about…Halloween? It may seem like the stream of holidays that will occur between October and December are so far away they do not even need consideration right now, but the truth is that retailers have been thinking about the holidays for quite some time already. New Halloween products are already being announced and will soon line the shelves in many stores. Within just a few weeks, well before your memories of the Fourth of July have faded, Christmas ornaments and trees will start to creep onto displays. While this might just be something that you barely register if you are not looking for these particular products, it can be extremely confusing for an elderly adult who is coping with cognitive challenges.

Cognitive challenges such as those associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia can make it extremely confusing for your parent to encounter holiday displays during the summer months. This is especially true if you happen to go to one of the variety home décor stores that tend to have both Halloween and Christmas items up at the same time, sometimes in the same area. This can cause your parent to feel confused and out of control, creating anxiety and possibly leading to negative reactions such as combative behaviors.

As a caregiver use these tips to help your parent with cognitive challenges navigate early holiday displays throughout the summer months:

• Talk to management. If there are new stores in your area or you are considering visiting stores that you are not familiar with, talk to management about their holiday displays. Explain the situation and ask when they anticipate having Halloween items on display, and then when they intend on introducing Christmas items. Do not expect any details about what types of products they will have, but they may be able to give you a basic idea about when these items may arrive.

• Check ahead of time. If you have not been able to confirm these details with management or they only gave you a basic time frame, go for a visit to the store before bringing your parent. Review where the holiday displays are and figure out if there are other routes that you can take through the store to get to the place that you need to be. You may not be able to avoid all of the displays, but you can reduce the chances that your parent will find themselves in the confusing situation of being surrounded by holiday displays in the middle of summer.

• Talk about it. If you cannot avoid the displays, or you find yourself in a store with them that you did not expect, be prepared to confront the situation. Do not talk about it in terms of knowing that it is confusing or upsetting your parent. Instead, confirm that it is not the appropriate season for those items in a casual way that will help your parent understand the displays and make them make sense in their perception. For example, try saying, “Are you excited to see the Christmas decorations so early? I am looking forward to building our collection.”

If you or an aging loved one are considering in-home caregiver services in Hollywood, FL to provide companionship, compassion and motivation, please contact the caring staff at Responsive Home Care. Call today 954-486-6440.