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Healing Through Unity: The Impact of Family Therapy in Senior Caregiving

A woman discusses issues she has come across as a family caregiver as she explores the benefits of family therapy in senior caregiving.

Strengthen family bonds and find support through family therapy in senior

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

Numerous conflicting emotions arise for people 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 hurts and resentments that can resurface, conflicts pertaining to decision-making, and the stress of trying to navigate what seems like a role reversal with a parent who once took care of us.

For these reasons and more, family counseling can be a wonderful addition to a family caregiver’s toolbox to ensure the absolute best possible care for senior parents, as well as his/her own psychological wellbeing. Here are several advantages of family counseling as parents grow older:

  1. It provides care for the care provider. Taking on the role of family care provider may be daunting in and of itself, but factor in additional responsibilities, for example, caring for children and managing a home while maintaining a job, and you have got a recipe for stress. Family therapy helps care providers sort through complicated emotions and reach solutions.
  2. It provides support through grief. Grief comes in many forms, and quite often begins during the early stages of being a caregiver for senior parents, as family members work through the inherent changes occurring now and also to come. When a senior parent is identified as having Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, the decline in cognitive functioning leads to an additional level of grief. A family therapist 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 arriving at what is most beneficial for the whole family and its cohesiveness, through challenges 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 feasible because of geographic constraints, continued COVID-19 distancing concerns, or another reason, phone or Zoom sessions can be equally as effective. One of the keys is for participation to be a main priority for all family members involved, and to make therapy sessions a consistent, routine priority.

If you need a partner to provide reliable respite care services while you devote the time needed for family therapy, contact us at (512) 338-4533. With both a trusted family counselor and the aging care professionals at CareFor on your team, your family can conquer caregiving related obstacles and appreciate high quality time together. CareFor is dedicated to providing home care services to seniors and families in New Braunfels, San Antonio, Austin, and the surrounding areas.

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