5 Difficulties Involved in Caring for Senior In-Laws

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Your in-laws raised the person who grew up to become your spouse. While you may respect them on many levels, it’s also common to encounter some personal differences when it comes to providing them with care. Taking care of senior in-laws is similar to caring for your own aging parents in many ways, but there are some differences. Being ready to meet these five challenges of caring for your elderly in-laws makes the changes in your lives easier for everyone to handle.

1. Discuss Potential Differences in Your Views on Senior Care

Families tend to vary regarding how they choose to care for seniors as they age, and many people follow what the generations before them did. You and your spouse may also have different cultural or religious backgrounds that influence your beliefs. Spend some time talking about your understanding of senior care. For example, one of you might believe younger generations have an obligation to care for their elders, and the other might have only seen their aging loved ones move to group living facilities. Finding a middle ground, such as arranging for home care, could help you both uphold your beliefs.

Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more.

2. Find Ways to Respect Your In-Laws’ Privacy

Your mother or father might not mind you tidying up his or her bedroom, but your in-laws might have a real problem with this. They may also prefer not to have you or their own child help with bathing or using the restroom. Talk with your in-laws to find out what boundaries they prefer to maintain. You’ll also want to ask yourself what you can realistically handle emotionally. Then seek professional assistance with any parts of their care that make any of you feel uncomfortable.

For some families, caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times. Luckily, they can rely on professional respite care. Green Valley, AZ, Home Care Assistance is a trusted name in respite and hourly care. Our caregivers are available around the clock to assist seniors with bathing, transportation, medication reminders, exercise, and much more, allowing families the time they need to focus on other important responsibilities or just take a break.

3. Take Action to Prevent Resentment

Family caregivers sometimes step into their roles because they know their spouses can’t do it. While this is noble, you’ll want to be prepared for moments when you might feel resentful about handling your in-laws’ care. For instance, you might resent your spouse having so much extra time to him or herself on the weekends. Or you might be upset that he or she doesn’t seem to understand how much you do. Carving out more time for yourself is one solution for preventing resentment. If it starts to build up, going to counseling can help you address challenging emotions.

4. Prepare to Maximize Time for Self-Care

You’ll have less free time as a caregiver. This means you may need to plan for how you’ll spend the precious hours you have to yourself. Scheduling appointments ahead of time for health checkups and other self-care activities ensures you have someone available to take care of your in-laws while you care for your own physical and emotional health.

5. Bring in a Neutral Party for Challenging Care Issues

There may also be conflicts you aren’t able to foresee right now. Your in-laws might refuse to listen to you about important aspects of their care, or you might find you’re starting to feel burned out. When this happens, having someone step in to help you and your in-laws enjoy some space away from each other can restore your family’s harmony. 

Professional caregivers can be a wonderful resource for overwhelmed family caregivers and their loved ones. When researching agencies that provide in-home care, Green Valley, AZ, families are usually looking for flexible care plans, compassionate and highly trained caregivers, and 24/7 availability. Whether you need respite care to take a break from your caregiving duties or your senior loved one needs around-the-clock assistance at home, you can rely on Home Care Assistance. To learn more about our highly trained caregivers, call us at 520-625-2050.