Providing care for an elderly spouse often comes with a unique set of difficulties. It can be challenging to transition from a spousal relationship to one of caregiver and care recipient, and it may pose many emotional, mental, and physical challenges. Here are a few tips for family caregivers caring for their elderly spouses.
Learn to Compartmentalize
While the marital relationship changes when one spouse becomes a caregiver, this doesn’t mean it has to end. To stave off negative feelings about the changing relationship, you need to learn to compartmentalize couple time and caregiving time. Don’t let the daily rigors of caregiving intrude on every aspect of your life. For example, you may want to set aside one hour every day where you don’t mention medical issues at all. During this time, you and your spouse should engage in the activities you enjoyed before you became a caregiver. Compartmentalizing roles allows you to preserve your previous relationship dynamic and gives you emotional respite from the caregiving process.
Caring for an elderly spouse can be a difficult task, but this challenge does not have to be faced alone. Families who need additional assistance caring for an elderly loved one should consider hiring a professional caregiver. Tucson, Arizona, seniors and their families trust in Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality in-home care on an as-needed basis. Our caregivers take pride in helping seniors remain healthy while promoting their quality of life.
Rectify Imbalance When Possible
As time goes on, you may end up putting more effort into the relationship than your spouse. While this is a natural consequence of caregiving, it doesn’t mean your spouse shouldn’t try to give back when possible. Depending on his or her condition, your spouse may not be able to prepare dinner or vacuum the living room floor. If possible, your spouse should express gratitude and give you emotional support.
Find a Support Network
Caregivers need to have a strong support network, which includes people who can pitch in when needed. Many caregivers find support groups to be educational and cathartic. At support group meetings, you’ll be surrounded by people facing similar challenges. Your fellow caregivers can provide advice, assistance, and moral support.
Research Local Services
Support groups aren’t the only local services that can help spousal caregivers. When you take advantage of assistance, you’ll have more time to spend on yourself and your marriage. Research local meal services, transportation services, and respite care services since they may become an invaluable addition to the caregiving plan.
If you are the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you need respite care, Tucson, Arizona, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our respite caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.
Recognize Negative Emotions
Spousal caregivers may experience negative emotions on occasion, including loneliness, anxiety, or resentfulness. If these emotions become overwhelming, look for healthy ways to mitigate them. You can prevent loneliness by carving out time in your schedule to see friends or family members. In case you’re overworked, consider hiring an in-home caregiver to perform the tasks you least enjoy. Look at negative emotions as problems to be solved, not as bad deeds you need to atone for. Recognizing and mitigating negative emotions can keep the marital relationship healthy throughout the caregiving process.
Hiring a professional caregiver is one of the best ways to alleviate some of the challenges associated with caring for an aging loved one. If you are the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality non-medical home care, Tucson Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age. To learn about our premier in-home care options, call one of our professional Care Managers at (520) 214-5440 today.