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 from our Ft. Lauderdale senior home care team 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 our home health services in Fort Lauderdale, FL and nearby areas can make in both a senior’s total well-being and yours.

How to Deal with Guilt as a Long-distance Family Caregiver

Caregiver Lauderhill, FL

Caregiver Lauderhill FLIf you’re experiencing guilt because you’re a long-distance family caregiver, you need to deal with it as quickly as possible. Guilt can get in the way of caregiving and make it more difficult than it has to be.

Determine Why You’re Feeling Guilty

Before you work your way through the guilt, it helps if you can put your finger on why exactly you’re feeling so guilty. Is it because you’re not able to be there as often as you want to be or is it because someone else is telling you that you’re not doing what you should be doing? You can also feel guilty because you know that eventually something serious could happen to your elderly loved one. Once you determine exactly why you’re feeling the guilt, you can take steps to resolve the issue.

Assess Whether You Can Actually Change Anything

In some cases, you may not be able to make any changes. If that’s the situation you’re in, you’ll have to come to terms with that in order to resolve the guilty feelings. You may not be able to be there more often, but you may be able to make arrangements with other family members to visit your loved one more often or you may be able to hire elderly care providers. Look at what you can actually do that is concrete and helpful.

Keep the Lines of Communication Open

Guilt can make people shut down and stop communicating with each other and that only makes the situation worse. Whether your loved one is making you feel guilty or you’re feeling guilty on your own, don’t avoid communicating with your loved one or anyone else involved in the situation. If you can work together, you can come up with a solution that works for everyone.

Don’t Let Guilt Make Decisions for You

Another problem with guilt is that it can make people agree to solutions that they don’t want to agree to. You might bend to pressure that you feel due to guilt that causes you to make a decision that you regret. Follow that path too often and you’ll eventually come to a decision that is a make or break decision and you don’t want guilt in charge there.

Guilt can be a powerful emotion because it forces you to really look at the situation. If you can make changes to your circumstances, do it. If you can’t, there’s no reason to beat yourself up.

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


If you’re one of the 40 million family caregivers in the U.S. caring for an elderly loved one, it’s likely your time is so crunched that you can’t even read this article in full. And if you’re working outside of the home and caring for your own children and spouse on top of that, the level of stress is often overwhelming. Something has to give; should it be your career?

Before taking such a drastic and life-changing measure, take a moment to consider the following:

  • Determine the financial value of your wages, benefits and retirement income. Could you and your family manage without it?
  • Would you be able to jump back into your career once your caregiving duties have ended?
  • Are there alternatives to leaving your place of employment, such as temporary flex-time or part-time hours, extended family leave, etc.?
  • Have you shared your situation with your employer? Before assuming that quitting is the only solution, allow your manager or HR department to hear and respond to what you’re facing.
  • Read through your employer’s policies and procedures manual to refamiliarize yourself with the attendance and absences policies.
  • Look into unemployment benefits in your state before making a decision, and confirm your eligibility.

While sacrificing your career for your loved one may seem like the only solution, quitting should always be your last resort. Take time to carefully plan the best course of action for yourself and your family, and look at all possible options—such as hiring a professional home care agency like Responsive Home Health before making a rash decision under duress that you may regret.