There are a number of milestones we may encounter in our lives that, though not necessarily negative, are known stressors. Changing jobs. Getting married. Getting divorced. And one that those of us in the home care industry are particularly mindful of: the mental and physical impact on family caregivers of elderly parents.
A range of conflicting emotions can arise for family care providers, and they can be exacerbated when sharing duties with siblings or other family members. There are past hurts and resentments that can surface, decision-making clashes, and the stress from trying to navigate what feels like a role reversal with a parent who once took care of us.
For these reasons and others, family therapy can be an excellent addition to a family caregiver’s toolbox to ensure the best possible care for parents, as well as the caregiver’s own mental wellness. Here are just a few of the many benefits of family therapy as parents age:
- It offers care for the care provider. Assuming the role of family caregiver can be daunting in and of itself, but when you add in extra responsibilities, such as managing a home and taking care of children while managing a career, you have a recipe for stress. Family therapy helps caregivers work through tough emotions and reach solutions.
- It offers grief support. Grief can arise in many forms, and often begins during the beginning stages of serving as a caregiver for aging parents, as family members work through the changes taking place now and those to come. When an aging parent is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia, the decline in cognitive functioning can cause an additional level of grief. A family counselor can help everyone in the family sort out their grief together.
- It assists the family as a whole. A family counselor focuses on achieving what is best for the whole family as a unit, through concerns such as inheritance and other financial considerations, medical decisions, and any difficult family dynamics.
If in-person family counseling sessions for your family are not practical because of geographic restraints or other concerns, phone or Zoom sessions can be just as effective. The key is for participation to be a top priority for everyone involved, and to make therapy appointments a consistent, routine commitment.
Heaven at Home Senior Care, a trusted provider of home care and home health aides in Denton and nearby areas, is here to help with the respite care services you need while devoting the time necessary for family therapy. You can reach us any time at (940) 380-0500. With a dependable family therapist and the aging care experts at Heaven at Home Senior Care on your side, your family can conquer any caregiving obstacles and enjoy quality time together.