Home Caregivers' Tips: Keeping the Marriage Strong

iStock_000011227322Small-300x199.jpgHome caregivers spend so much time focusing on caregiving issues that they often have to give their personal lives a little short shrift. An occasional imbalance in this area is understandable, as there are some days when caregiving tasks are heavier than others. However, it's important that home caregivers find time to devote to their own personal lives as well. For those who are married or in a serious relationship, this means also making "we" time as well as "me" time.

That's easier said than done, of course. But here are a few tips that home caregivers may want to consider to help husbands and wives spend a bit more time together.

Double up. In most situations, one caregiver accompanies the elderly loved one on excursions — to the doctor, to the store, to the park. This doesn't have to be the case. While accompanying one's spouse on errands may not be the equivalent of having a romantic candlelit dinner for two, it does allow a couple to spend a little more time in each other's presence. As many doctor visits seem to come with a lot of time in the waiting room, there can actually be opportunity for some fairly lengthy conversations.

Ask for help. Often one partner is more active in caregiving than the other. If this is especially lopsided, the one with greater caregiving responsibilities may need to gently remind the other partner that assistance would be beneficial. Although this may cut into the second partner's time, it means that there would be a greater opportunity for some together time. When both partners have full schedules, turning to another family member, a friend, or professional help may be another option.

Talk and share. When time is limited, couples often feel like they want their together time to distract them from every day life. That's often a good idea, especially when times are stressful. However, too much "distraction" time can keep a couple from connecting on the deeper level they crave. It's important to also make time for sharing concerns and talking about things that are weighing on their minds.

Plan "we" time and stick to it. The best laid plans can sometimes be upended, but home caregivers still need to plan their together time — and make every effort to stick to it. Pick a day and time, plan an activity, and then make sure it happens. If plans are left up in the air, it's much easier to let other things get in the way.

Home caregivers can benefit from a strong and committed partner. Working to keep that relationship healthy is worth the effort.

Related Article
​Home Caregivers and Socializing - newportnews.myhomecareblog.com


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