Caregiving can strengthen the bonds of relationships within the family. It can bridge gaps and heal decades-long conflicts through the connections that form during the care. However, it can also cause strains within the family. In marriages and relationships, no one really thinks of their partner caring for an aging parent until it starts happening. And in this day and age, providing senior care can put all kinds of stress that will shake the foundations of for better or for worse.
Nevertheless with our life span increasing, it’s essential to have a plan based on both the needs of our parents as they grow older, and the multitude of day-to-day needs, all while honoring our cherished relationship with a spouse. It is a challenge that is responsible for anxiety and pressure for 80% of couples interviewed, leading to detachment and less quality time together. Help & Care, LLC shares the following areas in a marriage which are particularly impacted by caregiving for a senior parent:
- Finances. Still retaining the top position when it comes to the reason reported for divorce, fiscal pressure is magnified if the older parent has not implemented a financial arrangement for long-term care. Frankly communicating frustrations with one another and working together to look into choices to afford services will help.
- Exhaustion and Frustration. Meeting the needs of an elderly loved one calls for a large amount of time and energy. There will be days when you will feel as if everything is piling up and you will feel overwhelmed. It will feel like nothing is going right or as planned and you feel frustrated and exhausted by it all. When this happens, it can be too easy to turn to your partner and just release all those negative emotions on him or her. Frustration and Exhaustion, if not vented out the right way, can be the foundations of a very unhappy environment. It can cause friction in marriages and can damage relationships. Tolerate imperfection, practice understanding, and accept opportunities for assistance from other people or hire a professional caregiver, so you can be sure to allow for high quality time with your spouse.
- Lack if Intimacy. Caring for a parent, managing your household, and co-parenting your children can be difficult to manage. Intimacy is one of the key elements that strengthen relationships and marriages, and the lack of it can cause a severe blow. Individuals have shared that caregiving has had a negative impact on their sexual relationship. However, bear in mind that intimacy does not always mean sexuality. Sex, though an important factor, does not fully encompass intimacy.
How else could you try to avoid these issues and keep a solid and healthy marriage? The following tips can help:
- Make sure your spouse is always a top concern. Small gestures can go a long way towards this end, such as writing a note of love and appreciation, getting out of bed a few moments early to share a cup of coffee together before the day becomes busy, or putting aside a block of time at the end of the day to talk and wind down.
- Becoming a member of an online support group for family caregivers can allow you the opportunity to vent worries with individuals in the same circumstances, relieving concerns.
- Seek out the services of a certified therapist, either for yourself individually or for both of you as a couple.
Another smart way to attain a healthier life balance is through partnering with an established and trusted in-home care provider, like Help & Care, LLC, the personal care assistant Santa Clara county families trust. We provide specialized respite care solutions which allow members of the family to take time away from caregiving, while offering seniors a chance for increased socialization with a friendly and professionally trained home care aide. Contact us to learn more about how a home care aide/caregiver can help you at (408) 384 4412.