Perhaps your family rivals those on Walton’s Mountain in its unconditional love, unwavering patience with one another, and determination to stick together through thick and thin. But if your family members are like most, there’s definitely some degree of dysfunction, some leftover stubborn sibling rivalry, and in some cases a bit of residual competitiveness to be Mom’s and Dad’s favorite. As the care needs of elderly parents 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.”
The reality is, approximately 40% of family caregivers have significant family conflicts, and 65% think that caregiving needs end up being unequally balanced among siblings. Trouble commonly occurs any time there’s a notion that one family member isn’t pulling his or her weight in relation to meeting the care needs of an elderly family member – reigniting any past family dynamic issues that until now might appear to have been hidden. With family care providers in danger of such issues as depressive disorders, alcohol or other substance abuse, insomnia, and career pressures, it’s reasonable to see how rapidly tempers can surface among family members.
How can family members come together and develop a plan of care that’s fair to all? The bottom line: sometimes it’s really not possible, and it’s necessary to come to a place of acceptance that your younger brother might not be ready, for whatever reason, to deal with looking after Mom at the level you’d like. Letting go of preconceived expectations and any feelings of resentment is crucial to finding peace for yourself and being able to concentrate on giving the best care for your elderly parents.
Whatever your family’s dynamics, Regency Home Care’s Atlanta caregivers are there to provide a regular, dependable resource to ensure that all caregiving requirements are fully met at all times. We work together with families to help fill in the gaps in care, letting them focus on spending quality time together and relieving the stress often connected with meeting a senior loved one’s daily needs. Contact us at (678) 999-2446 to learn more.