When Family Dynamics Impact Taking Care of Elderly Parents

Taking Care of Elderly ParentsIf you want to see a family that has unending patience with each other, stays together through any situation and has unconditional love for each other, you’ll want to watch reruns of The Waltons. But if your family is like most, there’s at least some degree of dysfunction, some leftover stubborn sibling rivalry, and in many cases a bit of residual competitiveness to be Mom’s and Dad’s favorite. Taking care of elderly parents mean the family must band together to support them; but this can cause old childhood hurts to resurface and exacerbate family dynamics.

Clinical psychologist Craig Grether shares, “When there is a family crisis with a parent, the adult children, no matter how educated they are, no matter how successful, with a variety of life experiences, they regress to the same dynamic of whatever was going on when they were 7, 8, 10, 12 years old.”

The truth is, around 40% of family elderly caregivers have intense family clashes, and 65% think that health care needs seem to be unequally shared among siblings. Discord often arises whenever there’s a perception that one member of the family isn’t pulling his or her weight when it comes to meeting the caregiving requirements of an older family member – reigniting any earlier family dynamic concerns that until this point may seem to have been laid to rest. With family care providers vulnerable to such issues as depression, alcohol or other substance abuse, insomnia, and career pressures, it’s easy to understand how quickly tempers can surface among family members.

How can members of the family come together and make a plan of care that’s fair to all? The conclusion: sometimes it’s simply not attainable, and it’s important to come to a place of acceptance that your younger sister might not be capable, for whatever reason, to manage taking care of Mom at the level you’d like. Letting go of preconceived expectations in addition to any feelings of resentment is necessary to finding peace for yourself and to be able to focus on giving the absolute best care for your older loved one.

Whatever your family’s dynamics, CareWorks Health Services of Orange County, CA can be there to supply a regular, trustworthy resource to ensure that all elderly caregiver needs are fully met at all times. We assist families to fill in the gaps in care, enabling them to concentrate on spending quality time with each other and relieving the worries often connected with meeting a senior loved one’s everyday needs. Contact us at (949) 859-4700 or online by clicking here for more information.