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.

Caregiver Tips: What to Do if Your Senior with Alzheimer’s Needs EMS Assistance

Caregiver Pembroke Pines, FL

Caregiver Pembroke Pines FL

As a family caregiver you never want to think about your aging parent needing emergency medical assistance. Unfortunately, this is something that happens quite often, particularly among very mature adults. If you are caring for an older adult who is coping with Alzheimer’s disease, a situation requiring EMS attention could be even more stressful. This makes it essential that you prepare carefully for the potential of needing EMS so that if the situation arises, you can feel more confident and get through it with less stress.

Use these tips to help you prepare for and handle a situation in which a parent with Alzheimer’s disease needs EMS assistance:

  • Post warnings. If your parent is known to have challenging behaviors associated with their Alzheimer’s disease, such as combative behaviors, aggressive behaviors, or wandering, it is important that the EMS personnel know about these challenges. This will help them to better structure their approach to your aging loved one, and can ensure that they use the proper steps to avoid potentially disastrous situations. Consider posting notices on the front door or in a readily visible place in the home that announces these challenges so that the EMS will know immediately even if you do not have the opportunity to tell them.
  • Talk about it. Though your parent is likely to still be confused and upset about the situation, if you have talked about the need for EMS before, it can help to keep the experience less stressful. Talk about situations in which you might need to call for EMS, what would happen, and what your parent could expect. If you do need to call for such assistance, tell your parent that you have done it, why you have done it, and how the situation will likely unfold.
  • Keep the environment calm. The more sensory stimulation that is going on around your parent, the more likely they are to experience stress, anxiety, and increased symptoms. Do what you can to make the environment as calm as possible. This includes turning off the television or radio, getting as many people out of the house as possible, and asking that the EMS speak with lower tones of voice. If your parent does not have hearing challenges, screaming or loud talking will just cause anxiety and even fear. Be an example of calm in your behavior and your attitude toward the situation.
  • Go with them. If your parent needs to be taken away from the situation in an ambulance, insist that you go along with them. Being taken away from you by people who they do not know in a strange vehicle can be a terrifying experience. Having you there will provide a greater sense of security and ensure that you are there to advocate for your parent throughout the experience.
  • Keep them involved. If your parent is cautious, they should be the central focus of the experience. This means that the EMS workers should not talk to you, but rather to your parent as much as possible. You can be there to answer questions and provide information, but you should always make sure that your parent is shown respect and dignity by being spoken to directly about the situation. This will help to reduce anxiety and create a sense of calm and control.

If you or an aging loved one are considering in-home caregiver services in Pembroke Pines, 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.