Most people expect to care for their parents once they grow old, so much so that it has become the norm for grown children to act as caregivers. However, needing to provide the same care for an in-law isn’t something most people consider.
Roughly 40 million Americans become family caregivers for their maternal parents, in-laws, or both. Caring for your own parents, especially with more embarrassing aspects like getting dressed and going to the bathroom, is difficult enough. So, how can you handle doing the same with the in-laws? Check out these helpful tips.
Your Relationships Are Going to Change
Relationships change constantly whether they’re friendships, partnerships, or family ties. However, takin on the role of caregiver comes with dramatic change. Relationships with in-laws vary widely, which makes it essential to evaluate that relationship before taking on this role.
If there’s bad blood or a history of arguments, now is the time to sit down and work on resolving those issues. You might simply agree to disagree and move forward, as well. The end goal should be to release any grudges and focus on the task of caring for this individual.
It might not be an easy task, but the relationship has to change in order for care to take place properly. If the two of you simply cannot resolve your differences, or if their needs exceed your abilities as a caregiver, then you might want to discuss residential assisted living homes.
Work with Your Spouse
Marriages face a lot of tests throughout their time, but caring for in-laws brings on an entirely new set of frustrations and stress. The strain on your marriage will become evident, which is why it’s essential that the two of you tackle this challenge together.
Make time for one another, speak honestly, and remain respectful. Keep in mind that this is a difficult time for your spouse as well. If the two of you find that an outside source of help is beneficial, don’t hesitate to seek a counselor or support group during this time.
It also helps to talk with an attorney about issues outside of daily care, such as family finances and social security, especially as your in-law continues to age. Find someone compassionate to your situation, like the attorneys at the Schoenberg Family Law Group, who will treat your situation with respect and sympathy.
Don’t Forget About In-Home Care
Countless agencies offer in-home care to help you with the tasks ahead. These workers can administer delicate medications, help with mobility issues through physical therapy, and can handle the more intimate aspects of care if your in-law isn’t comfortable with you aiding them in these regards.
This also allows you and your spouse to continue working, focusing on your own family and other obligations. In some cases, it can help your in-law feel like less of a burden too. Make sure to perform a full vetting process for in-home care services, and never hesitate to switch if you feel that the quality of care isn’t adequate.