Caregiving and your partner
February 9, 2017
Caregiving.com produced a survey showing some of the domestic pressures when faced with this situation which include: physical fatigue, reduced leisure time, emotional stress, financial draws, and loss of privacy. However, some couples surveyed reported a benefit: Their relationship was actually strengthened by the new kind of teamwork which caregiving prompted.
Here are some tips:
Strive for balance. You might feel a sense of debt to a parent, but you should also recognize that your marriage is your future. Try to arrange your caregiving so that your partner does not feel like they are the last priority. Routinely discuss your shared values and how to fit them into your life as a couple.
What makes your partner feel loved? You can probably answer this quite easily: Physical affection? Quality time together? Handling a chore or errand? A love note? A small gift? (HINT: Usually what he or she tends to do for you is a clue) You can build trust and dedication with weekly gestures of love.
Time together is essential. In many families, there is one adult child who takes on the main caregiver role. If you are the main caregiver, make certain your siblings know that you won’t sacrifice your marriage. You can create time for your relationship by asking your siblings for:
- respite (spending some of their vacation time taking care of mom);
- help with chores (handling the checkbook, keeping the car in good condition);
- financial assistance, so you can hire help.
Have a Plan B
Keep an eye out for signs of distress. If your partner is arguing, overeating, drinking more or coming home later, it’s time for a change. Consider:
- hiring in-home care;
- having your relative live in an assisted living facility;
- moving your relative to live with a different family member.
Have a care manager help look at options and/or talk with your family members about a change in the sharing of the care.