Caregiving for an elderly loved one can be a trying on even the strongest of relationships. Stress, lack of privacy and financial pressure are just a few of the demands that take a toll on caregivers and their significant others. In dealing with these often-tough situations, it is important that you keep your marriage a priority.
Communication is key and spouses need to make sure that they express concerns that arise when the role of caregiving becomes stressful. Talk frequently about the situation or stress and resentment will build up. It is important to be as open as possible when expressing your feelings. Therapist Bobbi Emel says, “Its important, for example, to have an understanding that it’s OK to express your frustrations or convey how exhausting your week was.” Both partners should be allowed to vent their frustrations openly. Once the issues have be put out in the open couples can create solutions.
Seek outside help before the stress becomes too intense. See if other family members can help with caretaking duties or help financially. Caregiver support groups can be a great way to seek advice and connect with others dealing with similar issue.
Romance can also fade with the stress of caregiving if you don’t make a point to keep it alive. No matter how busy you are, make sure to save some time for your relationship. This means making alone time for dates and relaxing in a stress free environment. Create a special time on a weekly basis to reconnect and relax.
Even when you try to balance caregiving with the rest of your responsibilities, it may become too stressful, so be sure to have a back up plan. It is important that your life and relationship take priority over your caregiving role. If the stress becomes too much, you should explore your alternatives. Seeking help from a reputable home care agency is recommended.