A few weeks ago, I was featured in the Chicago Tribune in an article that had to do with how to go about making the decision to move your aging parents in with you! This transition is not only practically challenging, it's emotionally REALLY COMPLICATED!!
So, I wanted to start this conversation by sharing 3 complexities that you and your partner will for sure experience as you approach moving aging parents (or in laws) in with you!
Hello there! I’m Dr. Regina Koepp and this is the Caring for Aging Parents Show. I’m a Board Certified Clinical Psychologist and I specialize with older adults, couples, and families. I help you manage the most complicated situations with your aging parents, so that you have peace of mind knowing that you are doing everything you can to help your parents live their best lives, without giving up your own life in the process.
For the best tips on helping you to care for your aging parents, hit the subscribe button and don’t forget to hit the bell, for new tips every Wednesday.
As we get started, I wanted to share a helpful freebie that I made called the Ultimate Caring for Aging Parents Checklist! Take a minute to download it! It’ll really help you out!
A few weeks ago, I was featured in the Chicago Tribune in an article that had to do with how to go about making the decision to move your aging parents in with you! I have to say, as we begin, that this transition is not only practically challenging, it's emotionally REALLY COMPLICATED!!
So, I want to start this conversation by sharing 3 complexities that you and your partner will for sure experience as you approach moving aging parents (or in laws) in with you!
The first complexity is changes to your family system.
Each family has a structure and a system. A family structure includes all the people who make up a family and each person’s roles and responsibilities in the family, kind of their position and where they fit!
A family system is how the family operates, how they interact, how they solve problems, how they manage conflict (their dynamics) and so on. The system also includes roles and responsibilities.
Let me illustrate this for you: Imagine the family as a mobile (that hangs from the ceiling), each person has a place in the family and the family is in balance. Even if it is dysfunctional, most families find their balance, which you’ll also hear me refer to as homeostasis- or the family’s norm.
When a piece is added to the mobile (like with the birth of a baby, or with having aging parents move in with you), or taken away (like with a child leaving for college, or a parent dying), this disrupts the balance and creates lots of challenges for even the healthiest family. When families go through this kind of a change, it takes time to find a new homeostasis, or a new normal.
To put it another way, you and your partner may have been living for years or decades together away from your aging parents and have created your own way of doing things (your own system), and now, if you're considering moving aging parents in with you, it has the effect of changing not only your family structure (adding more people, and how many people live in your home), but your family system, this includes who you’re responsible for, the roles you have with different members of your family, the ways you go about doing things, the time it takes to accomplish basic tasks, and so on!
These seem like subtle changes, but they are actually HUGE and can be challenging even for the healthiest couple or family.
The second complexity to talk about are changes in your parent’s health status!
If you're considering having your aging parents move in with you, this likely means that your aging parents are needing support or assistance with their basic needs. They are not only moving in with YOU, they are moving into a more vulnerable time in their life. This may put physical and emotional demands on you and your partner, which means that while your family structure is changing, at the same time, you will have more demands and stress.
You will also have all sorts of feelings, including and fears about the the future, like what will happen to my life and what will happen to my parents' life, What will happen to my career, what will happen to my relationship, and so much more.
The third complexity has to do simply with you and your partner being raised differently. You had different parents, different family structures, different family systems, and different roles and values!
Your relationship with your aging parents is unique and your partner’s relationship with their aging parents is unique as well. So naturally, you and your partner are bound to disagree! It’s actually expected that you will have different views on caregiving and have different perspectives on your roles in the family and what you value! And expectations for each other.
If you’re caring for aging parents, I have a freebie, the Ultimate Caring for Aging Parents Checklist! Download it now!
If this video was helpful, be sure to subscribe and hit the like button so I know to make more videos like this!
And don’t forget to share this video with your friends who are caring for their aging parents. Because nobody should have to do this caregiving-thing alone!
Lots of love to you and your family!
See you next Wednesday!
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