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Caring for Aging Parents: The Benefits of Family Therapy

family therapy for caregivers
The experts on in-home care in Kalamazoo offer tips on getting started with family therapy for caregivers.

There are certain milestones we might encounter in our lives that, though not necessarily negative, are known stressors. Losing a job. Starting a new job. Getting divorced. Getting married. And one that individuals in the home care industry are particularly mindful of: the physical and mental impact on family members who are caring for aging parents.

A lot of conflicting emotions arise for anyone in the role of family caregiver, and these are exacerbated when trying to share tasks with siblings or other members of the family. There are past hurts and resentments that may surface, clashes related to decision-making, as well as the stress of trying to navigate what feels like a role reversal with a parent who once took care of us.

For these reasons and many more,  family therapy for caregivers can be a wonderful addition to a family caregiver’s toolbox to guarantee the very best possible care for elderly parents, in addition to his or her own emotional wellbeing. Listed below are several benefits of family therapy as parents get older:

  1. It provides care for the care provider. Undertaking the role of family caregiver may be overwhelming in and of itself, but factor in additional responsibilities such as caring for children and managing a home while maintaining employment, and you’ve got a recipe for stress. Family therapy for caregivers can help family members sort through challenging emotions and reach resolutions.
  2. It provides support through grief. Grief comes in many forms, and sometimes begins during the early stages of caring for aging parents as family members work through the changes occurring now and to come. When an aging parent is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or any other type of dementia, the decline in cognitive functioning brings about yet another level of grief. A family counselor will help all people in the family to sort out their grief together.
  3. 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, family obstacles such as issues connected to inheritance and other financial considerations, medical decisions, and any challenging family dynamics.

If in-person family therapy sessions for your family aren’t practical as a result of geographic restraints, continued COVID-19 distancing concerns, or another reason, Zoom or phone sessions can be equally effective. The key factor is for participation to be a priority for all family members involved, and to make counseling appointments a consistent routine.

If you need a partner to provide trustworthy respite care services when you devote the time necessary for family therapy, call us to learn more about Kalamazoo, MI dementia care and the other Michigan communities we serve at (269) 373-5444 in Kalamazoo,  (269) 763-5350 in Paw Paw, (269) 849-9252 in St. Joseph, and (269) 963-9888 in Battle Creek. For a full list of the communities we serve, please visit our Locations page. With a trusted family counselor in addition to the aging care professionals at Home Sweet Home In-Home Care on your side, your family can deal with caregiving obstacles and enjoy quality time together.

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