August 16, 2017

elderly careIf you ever watched episodes of The Waltons, you saw a family that had endless patience with each other, a family that stuck together through every situation, and a family that practiced unconditional love. But if your family members are similar to most, there’s certainly some level of dysfunction, some leftover mulish sibling rivalry, and in many cases a bit of residual competitiveness to be Mom’s and Dad’s favorite. As elderly care needs increase and the family once again has to band together to support them, old childhood hurts can resurface and family dynamics can be exacerbated.

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.”

In reality, around 40% of family care providers have intense family disputes, and 65% believe that health care needs end up being unequally shared among siblings. Conflict commonly occurs as soon as there’s a notion that one family member isn’t pulling his or her weight with regards to meeting the caregiving requirements of an elderly loved one – reigniting any past family dynamic problems that until this point may seem to have been buried. With family care providers at risk for such challenges as depression, alcohol or other substance abuse, sleep loss, and career challenges, it’s understandable how quickly tempers can flare between family members.

How can members of the family band together and develop a plan of care that’s fair to all? The bottom line: there are occasions when it’s just not possible, and it’s necessary to come to a place of acceptance that your younger sibling may not be able, for whatever reason, to deal with caring for Mom at the level you’d like. Letting go of preconceived expectations in addition to any feelings of resentment is necessary to obtaining peace for yourself and being able to concentrate on giving the absolute best care for your senior loved one.

Whatever your family’s dynamics, Continuum, the top choice for St. Louis area home health care, is on hand to supply a steady, reliable resource to make sure that all care needs are completely satisfied at all times. We work together with family members to help fill in the gaps in caregiving, enabling them to focus 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 (314) 863-9912 to learn more.