In marriage we pledge to stick with each other for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness as well as in health – but what does not come up in our vows to one another is how to deal with the growing needs of senior care as our parents age.
However with our life spans increasing, it’s beneficial to put together a strategy to fulfill both the needs of our parents as they grow older, and the multitude of daily needs, all while honoring our cherished relationship with a spouse. It’s a challenge that’s resulting in anxiety and pressure for 80% of couples surveyed, leading to detachment and much less quality time with each other. These areas in a marriage are specifically impacted by caregiving stress:
• Finances. Still holding the top position for the reason reported for divorce, economic pressure is amplified if the older parent hasn’t already executed an economic plan for long-term care. Frankly communicating frustrations with each other and working together to investigate options to afford services can help.
• Fatigue. As gratifying as it may be, satisfying the needs of an elderly loved one involves a great deal of energy and time – leaving very little left over at the end of the day for your spouse. Welcome opportunities for some help from others or employ professional in-home senior care assistance, so you can make sure to provide for quality time with your spouse.
• Frustration. Increasing frustration and decreased patience are a couple of common negative effects of fatigue, and unfortunately, we are inclined to lash out at those we love the most when feeling overwhelmed. Tolerate imperfection, practice understanding, and look for professional assistance when necessary.
• Make sure your partner is always a top concern. Small gestures can go a long way towards this end, such as writing a handwritten note of love and appreciation, getting up a few minutes early to share a cup of coffee together before the day gets demanding, or setting aside time at the end of the day to talk and unwind.
• Subscribing to an online support group for family caregivers can allow you the chance to share frustrations with individuals in the same situations, soothing concerns.
• Seek out the services of a certified counselor, either for you individually or for the two of you as a couple.
Another smart way to accomplish a healthy life balance is by partnering with an established and trusted in-home care provider, like CareWorks Health Services. We offer specialized respite care solutions that allow members of the family to take time away from parental care, while offering older adults time for enhanced socialization with a helpful and well-trained caregiver. Give us a call at (949) 859-4700 or contact us online to learn more about our senior care options today!