How Can Tense Family Dynamics Impact Elderly Care?

elderly careIf 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 members are similar to most, there’s undoubtedly some amount of dysfunction, some lingering diehard sibling rivalry, and in some cases a certain amount of residual competitiveness to be Mom’s and Dad’s favorite. These sorts of family dynamics can be aggravated as the need for elderly care increases and family members are forced to work together, resurfacing old childhood issues.

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, approximately 40% of family care providers are experiencing serious family disputes, and 65% think that health care needs are usually unequally balanced between siblings. Discord often arises when there’s a perception that one family member isn’t pulling his or her weight in relation to meeting the proper care needs of an older loved one – reigniting any past family dynamic issues that until now might seem to have been hidden. With family caregivers at risk for such issues as depression, alcohol or other substance abuse, insomnia, and career pressures, it’s reasonable to see how quickly tempers can surface among family members.

So how can family members come together and create a plan of care that’s fair to all? The conclusion: sometimes it’s really not possible, and it’s important to come to a place of acceptance that your younger brother might not be equipped, for whatever reason, to deal with caring for Dad at the level you’d like. Releasing preconceived expectations and also any feelings of resentment is necessary to obtaining peace for yourself and to be able to focus on giving the best care for your older family member.

Regardless of your family’s dynamics, All Care, a leader in Medford home care, can be available to provide a steady, dependable resource to ensure that all care requirements are completely satisfied at all times. We work together with families to help fill in the gaps in caregiving, letting them concentrate on spending quality time together and relieving the worries often associated with meeting a senior loved one’s everyday needs. Contact us at (541) 857-9195 to learn more.