Caring for Elderly Parents SOS: Family Therapy

Posted on February 16th, by Mark Winter in Caregiver Support Tip, Caregivers, Family Caregivers. No Comments

Caring for Elderly Parents SOS: Family Therapy

With a serious look on her face, the teen girl looks at her grandmother during group therapy.

There are specific milestones we may encounter in our lives that, while not fundamentally negative, are known stressors. Losing a job. Starting a brand new job. Getting married. Getting divorced. And one that individuals in the home care industry are especially mindful of: the mental and physical impact on family members who are caring for elderly parents. 

A number of conflicting emotions crop up for those in the role of family caregiver, and these can be magnified when trying to share duties with siblings or other family members. There are past resentments and hurts which might surface, clashes related to decision-making, in addition to the stress when trying to navigate what feels like a role reversal with a parent who once cared for us.

For these reasons and more, family therapy tends to be an excellent addition to a family caregiver’s toolbox to guarantee the absolute best possible care for aging parents, as well as his/her own mental wellbeing. Here are several benefits of family therapy as parents age:

  1. It provides care for the caregiver. Taking on the role of family care provider can be daunting in and of itself, but add in additional responsibilities, for example, managing a home and caring for children while maintaining employment, and you have got a recipe for stress. Family counseling helps care providers work through difficult emotions and reach solutions.
  2. It offers support through grief. Grief comes in many forms, and quite often begins during the early stages of being a caregiver for elderly parents, as family members sort out the inherent changes taking place now and to come. When an elderly parent is identified as having Alzheimer’s or any other type of dementia, the decline in cognitive functioning results in an additional level of grief. A family counselor can assist all people in the family to sort out their grief together.
  3. It helps the family as a unit. A family therapist focuses on achieving what is best for the whole family and its cohesiveness, through challenges such as issues surrounding inheritance and other financial considerations, medical decisions, and any challenging family dynamics. 

If in-person therapy sessions for your family are not practical as a result of geographic restraints, continued COVID-19 distancing concerns, or any other reason, phone or Zoom sessions can be just as effective. The key is for participation to be a main priority for all family members involved, and to make therapy appointments a consistent, routine commitment.

If you need a partner to provide trustworthy Walnut Creek senior home care and respite care services while you devote the time necessary for family therapy, reach out to us at (866) 940-4343. With both a dependable family counselor in addition to the aging care professionals at Hired Hands Homecare on your side, your family can conquer caregiving related obstacles and appreciate good quality time together. For a full list of all of the communities where we provide care, please visit our Service Area page. 

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