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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.