There are certain milestones we may encounter in our lives that, while not necessarily negative, are known stressors. Losing a job. Starting a brand new job. Getting divorced. Getting married. And one that individuals in the home care industry are particularly mindful of: the mental and physical impact on family members who are caring for aging parents.
A lot of conflicting emotions crop up for those in the role of family caregiver, and these are made worse when trying to share duties with siblings or other family members. There are past resentments and hurts that may surface, clashes pertaining to decision-making, as well as the stress of trying to navigate what feels like a role reversal with a parent who once cared for us.
For these reasons and more, family counseling is often an excellent addition to a family caregiver’s toolbox to ensure the absolute best possible care for elderly parents, in addition to his or her own mental and physical wellbeing. Here are just a few benefits of family therapy as parents get older:
- It provides care for the family caregiver. Taking on the role of family care provider can be daunting in and of itself, but add in additional responsibilities, such as caring for children and managing a home while maintaining employment, and you’ve got a recipe for stress. Family counseling helps caregivers sort through difficult emotions and reach solutions.
- It provides support through grief. Grief comes in many forms, and quite often begins during the early stages of caring for elderly parents, as family members sort out the inherent changes taking place now and also to come. When an elderly parent is identified as having Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia, the decrease in cognitive functioning results in yet another degree of grief. A family counselor will help all members of the family to sort out their grief together.
- It helps the family as a unit. A family counselor is focused on arriving at precisely what is best for the whole family as well as its cohesiveness. This is done through managing challenges such as issues related to inheritance and other financial considerations, medical decisions, and any complicated family dynamics.
If in-person counseling sessions for your family are not possible due to geographic restraints, continued COVID-19 distancing concerns, or another reason, Zoom or phone sessions can be equally as effective. One of the keys is for attendance to be a top priority for all family members involved, and to make therapy sessions a consistent routine.
If you are looking for a partner to provide reliable respite care services while you devote the time necessary for family therapy, give us a call at 757-640-0557. With a dependable family therapist in addition to the aging care professionals at Seniorcorp on your side, your family can overcome caregiving obstacles and enjoy high quality time together.