A Guide For Keeping Your Marriage Strong
Many baby boomers are facing a decision about caregiving for their elderly parents or other relatives. This is not an easy decision and if a person decides to take on the role of primary caregiver, it can be quite stressful. This stress will often migrate into the caregiver’s marriage and cause problems. Providing full-time caregiving is extremely difficult and usually results in the caregiver trying to work in responsibilities involving caregiving, family, and marriage. This tightly packed and incredibly organized schedule typically results in very little time for the caregiver themselves. They are tired, stressed, and often feeling frustrated.
Primary caregivers also face another challenge
taking care of their own health. When a person becomes a full-time caregiver it often results in the caregiver’s health failing before the health of person they’re caring for. It can also become financially difficult when someone becomes a primary caregiver. They often must give up their job or at least reduce their hours which results in a loss of income. When all of these challenges are combined, it can wreak havoc on a marriage.
Couples can survive the trials and tribulations of being a primary caregiver, but it takes work. There are some steps a couple can take to keep their marriage strong. If both partners are committed, they can make it through and come out stronger on the other side.
1. Own It
Both the caregiver and the spouse must acknowledge that the caregiving is impacting their relationship. Providing care for someone else is a hard job and at the end of the day, the caregiver probably doesn’t want to clean house or do the grocery shopping. They are tired and perhaps a bit short-tempered. Both partners must realize there are issues and work together to help each other out
2. Prioritize Your Spouse
Both partners must do this, but the caregiver may need to work hard at prioritizing their spouse when they are providing care for another person all day long. It is important that both partners make time to connect, even if it’s just a short chat while making dinner. It helps to plan something special every once in a while so both partners remember how important they are to each other.
3. Ask For Help
Family caregiving should be just that – family. When the primary caregiver needs a break, they should never hesitate to ask for help. If they don’t recognize when they need time away, it could end badly for both the caregiver and the one they are caring for. It is only human to need time for oneself, so ask family and friends to step in occasionally.
If there are no family or friends nearby, consider hiring a professional caregiver, if only for a day or a few hours. These home care companions can take your loved one to their doctor’s appointment or shopping or to the hair salon. Meanwhile, the caregiver can get a much-needed break or take care of a few personal errands.
4. Use Available Resources
There are usually resources available within the community to help family caregivers. The local Area Agency on Aging will have specialists who can provide help and advice. There may also be support groups where primary caregivers can meet others who are facing the same challenges.
5. Take Time For Yourselves
This is a big one. All marriages need recharging at times, so plan some time for yourselves. If you can’t get away, plan a “stay-cation” and try a new vineyard or go to a show. Spend this time together talking and strengthening your marriage bonds.
Many communities offer respite programs where your loved one can do a short-term stay at a local long-term care facility or senior retirement community. This is a great way to ensure your relative or friend is safe while you and your spouse get some much-needed time alone.
5. Know When To Stop
When the care giving is causing too many problems in the marriage, take a step back and admit you need help. Assisting Hands Houston is here to provide you assistance. Our caregiver in Houston specialists will work with you to determine if a change is needed for the health of everyone concerned. Give us a call or contact us today to talk about your options.