Caring for Senior Parents SOS: Family Counseling

With a serious look on her face, the teen girl looks at her grandmother during group therapy.

Family counseling can help keep stress in check when caring for senior parents.

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

So many conflicting emotions arise for people in the role of family caregiver, and they are often magnified when trying to share tasks with siblings or other family members. There are past resentments and hurts that may surface, disputes pertaining to decision-making, together with 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 counseling may be a great addition to a family caregiver’s toolbox to guarantee the absolute best possible care for aging parents, as well as his/her own physical and mental wellbeing. Listed here are just a few benefits of family counseling as parents grow older:

  • It provides care for the family caregiver. Taking on the role of family caregiver can be overwhelming in and of itself, but add in further responsibilities, such as caring for children and managing a home while maintaining a career, and you’ve got a recipe for stress. Family therapy helps caregivers sort through challenging emotions and reach solutions.
  • It offers support through grief. Grief comes in many forms, and quite often begins during the early stages of caring for senior parents, as family members work through the inherent changes happening now and to come. When an elderly parent is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or any other form of dementia, the decline in cognitive functioning leads to yet another level of grief. A family counselor will help all people in the family to sort out their grief together.
  • It helps the family as a unit. A family therapist is focused on achieving precisely what is most beneficial for the whole family and its cohesiveness, through challenges such as issues pertaining to inheritance and other financial considerations, medical decisions, and any challenging family dynamics.

If in-person counseling sessions for your family aren’t feasible due to geographic restraints, continued COVID-19 distancing concerns, or another reason, Zoom or phone sessions can be every bit as effective. The key is for participation to be a top priority for all family members involved, and to make counseling appointments a regular, routine commitment.

If you need a partner to provide trustworthy senior in home care in Laguna Woods or the surrounding areas in order to devote the time necessary for family counseling, call us at (949) 859-4700. With both a trusted family therapist and the aging care professionals at CareWorks Health Services on your team, your family can deal with caregiving obstacles and enjoy quality time together. For a full list of all of the communities where we provide care, please visit our Service Area page.