Becoming a family caregiver for an aging loved one is an incredible undertaking. You are dedicating your time, energy and effort to making sure that this senior is able to enjoy the highest quality of life possible and that his daily physical, medical and cognitive needs are addressed in a safe, effective and efficient way. While providing home care for an aging loved one, however, it is important to remember that you are still an individual with a life of your own. Many caregivers report feeling as though there personal relationships, particularly their marriages, suffer once they take on the responsibility of being a home care provider for an aging loved one. It is essential not just for your own personal health, but also the relationship that you maintain with your aging loved one that you don’t allow your role as a caregiver to completely overtake your life. You must continue to focus on your marriage, and allow this relationship to give you strength, confidence and stress relief as you face the challenging and often overwhelming realities of being a family caregiver.
Some of the ways that you can protect your marriage while providing home care for an aging loved one include:
- Take the time every few hours to send your spouse a text message or make a brief phone call. Often just a short message is enough to ease tension and help you feel better.
- Write each other love letters and hide them in the car, by the coffeemaker or anywhere else where you know the other will find them.
- Hire home care services for one night per week so you can spend some time just focused on your spouse.
- Create plans for special outings or trips that you can look forward to. Make a commitment to hire respite care for this time so you’re able to enjoy your special plans together.
- Agree not to use your spouse as a “vent”. Don’t take your frustration or anger out on your spouse. If you feel as though you need a place to let out tension or frustration, find a therapist that will listen to you and help guide you in coping techniques.
When researching options for in-home care agencies, Home care counselors at Home Matters are available to talk with you about your in-home care needs including how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care. We are an elder care agency providing home care.