When you got married, you were fully prepared to care for your partner in sickness and in health. However, you might not have considered the idea that this could also mean caring for your in-laws as they age. People often don’t think twice about caring for their own parents, but providing care for a spouse’s parents can be a little more challenging. Watch out for these five challenges that come with being a caregiver for elderly in-laws. Although your role may be challenging, you can overcome most of the pitfalls with a little planning and preparation.
1. Experiencing Complicated Relationship Dynamics
For many people, relationships with their in-laws tend to be more complicated than the ones they have with their own parents. You may feel as though you need to exhibit a certain level of respect that makes it difficult to address care issues. Or you might have always had a bit of a tense relationship with your in-laws that you have to work hard to overcome. Practicing empathy and kindness can help you transform your relationship. Family counseling is also an option if you find it hard to develop ways to relate to each other.
2. Being Criticized by Others
Being a caregiver is much more difficult when everyone seems to have an opinion. Holding a family meeting before you start caregiving can ensure everyone is on the same page. Reminding your spouse’s siblings that they agreed to the care plan can prevent many family squabbles. If you do encounter criticism, it’s good to be able to provide specific reasons for what you do. Explaining that you’re following doctor’s orders or a professional caregiver’s recommendation takes some of the responsibility off your shoulders.
3. Developing Resentment toward Other Family Members
When you’re in the middle of doing laundry or dishes, it’s easy to look at your spouse and other family members and feel like you’re doing it all. Make sure to share the load with your spouse and any other members of the family who can chip in. Many caregiving tasks can be done from a distance. For instance, your brother-in-law could schedule medical appointments for your loved one. Even when the task someone helps with is small, it gives you one less thing to worry about.
For some families, caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times. Luckily, they can rely on professional respite care. Harrisburg, PA, 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.
4. Feeling Uncomfortable with Certain Types of Care
Bathing your in-laws or helping them with incontinence issues might be a boundary you just don’t want to cross. Helping your spouse’s parents with personal hygiene issues can feel awkward and embarrassing. Your in-law might also prefer not to have you do these things so he or she can maintain a certain level of dignity in the relationship. If so, consider arranging for a professional caregiver to come in and take care of your in-law’s hygiene needs.
Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more.
5. Finding the Time to Handle Other Responsibilities
Things change over time, and you might have jumped in to help without knowing what the future would bring. Now, your own aging parents might need assistance at home, or you’re discovering you don’t have time for your children’s activities. This is another area where bringing in additional help can provide a way to support your in-laws while handling the other essential aspects of your life.
Professional caregivers can be a wonderful resource for overwhelmed family caregivers and their loved ones. When researching agencies that provide home care, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 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 reliable, compassionate in-home care services, contact us at (717) 540-4663 today.