Gratitude and Meaning in Caring for Aging Parents
Barry Jacobs & Julia Mayer
While caring for aging parents is often portrayed as a physical, psychological, and financial burden, there’s a growing body of research suggesting that caregivers can derive important benefits from their role, including increased life satisfaction and even improved health. In fact, caregivers have the potential to get stronger as they gain the skills to provide care more effectively, even in the face of a loved one’s decline. This workshop will explore how therapists can enable caregivers to experience the growth potential in their mission. You’ll focus on how to:
- Clarify clients’ sense of purpose in deciding to provide hands-on care, and normalize the ambivalence and frustration that comes with it
- Teach intentional practices—including mindful awareness, daily reflection, and prospective retrospection—to help them savor the meaning of their undertaking
- Identify and nurture positive beliefs that will sustain caregiving
Barry Jacobs, PsyD, is the director of behavioral sciences for the Crozer-Keystone Family Medicine Residency Program. He’s author of The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers, and coauthor with Julia Mayer of AARP Meditations for Caregivers.
Financial: Barry Jacobs is a faculty member of the Crozer-Keystone Family Medicine Residency Program. He is an author for Guilford Press and receives royalties.
Non-financial: Barry Jacobs is a member of the American Psychological Association; America Family Therapy Academy; Collaborative Family Healthcare Association; and the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine.
Julia Mayer, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist specializing in women’s identity, caregivers, and relationship issues. She’s author of A Fleeting State of Mind.