There are specific milestones we might encounter in our lives that, while not automatically negative, are known stressors. Losing a job. Starting a brand new job. Getting divorced. Getting married. And one that we in the home care industry are especially mindful of: the mental and physical effect on family members who are caring for aging parents.
A number of conflicting emotions crop up for anyone in the role of family caregiver, and they are exacerbated when trying to share tasks with siblings or other members of the family. There are past hurts and resentments that can resurface, conflicts associated with decision-making, and the stress of trying to navigate what seems like a role reversal with a parent who once provided for us.
For these reasons and more, family therapy tends to be a great addition to a family caregiver’s toolbox to guarantee the very best possible care for elderly parents, as well as his or her own mental wellbeing. The following are several benefits of family therapy as parents grow older:
- It provides care for the caregiver. Undertaking the role of family care provider may be overwhelming in and of itself, but factor in additional responsibilities, for example, caring for children and managing a home while maintaining a job, and you’ve got a recipe for stress. Family counseling helps care providers sort through difficult emotions and reach resolutions.
- It offers support through grief. Grief comes in many forms, and sometimes begins during the early stages of being a caregiver for senior parents, as family members work through the inherent changes happening now and also to come. When an aging parent is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, the decrease in cognitive functioning brings about yet another level of grief. A therapist can help all members of the family to work through their grief together.
- It helps the family as a unit. A family therapist is focused on achieving precisely what is best for the whole family and its cohesiveness, through obstacles such as issues pertaining to inheritance and other financial concerns, medical decisions, and any challenging family dynamics.
If in-person therapy sessions for your family are not possible as a result of geographic restraints, continued COVID-19 distancing concerns, or any other reason, Zoom or phone sessions can be equally as effective. The key is for participation to be a main priority for all family members involved, and to make counseling sessions a regular, routine obligation.
If you need a partner to provide reliable respite care services while you devote the time necessary for family therapy, reach out to us at (907) 677-7890 to learn more about our trusted home health services in Anchorage, AK and the surrounding communities. With both a trusted family therapist in addition to the aging care professionals at Midnight Sun Home Care by your side, your family can overcome caregiving obstacles and enjoy high quality time together.