Keeping Your Relationship Intact While Caregiving for a Spouse

caregiving for a spouse
Many people worry about losing intimacy when caregiving for a spouse, but these tips can help family caregivers maintain their loving relationships.

If you are in a successful, lasting relationship, you understand that it requires commitment, compromise, and sacrifice. The happiest relationships are the ones where both parties selflessly care for one another. This balance shifts, however, if you find yourself caregiving for a spouse due to a significant health concern. And this shift can have a devastating impact on the dynamics of your relationship if you’re not careful, as you find yourself in the role of care provider.

Naturally, you want to do whatever you can for your loved one. Nonetheless, it is vital that you ensure you are not sacrificing your romantic connection along the way. When caregiving for a spouse, attempting to parent your partner may cause bitterness for you both. In order to maintain healthy boundaries, our experts in elderly care in Niles and the surrounding areas urge you to keep the following at heart:

  • Empower your partner to remain as independent as possible. While you certainly have the best of intentions in wanting to help, it is very easy to cross the line and cause damage to the person’s self-esteem. Plan more time, provide adaptive tools, and step back when you can to permit the person to do whatever they’re able to for themselves.
  • Show your love for your partner in ways that have nothing at all to do with the care you are providing. Write love letters, provide small, thoughtful gifts, tell the person how much you appreciate specific traits you observe in them.
  • Have an honest, open conversation regarding how the health changes are affecting you. Brainstorm techniques to find a new normal that will be fulfilling for both of you, establishing new, attainable goals and dreams together.
  • Be deliberate in creating opportunities to concentrate on your relationship independent of the injury or illness. Continue to be involved in the activities and conversations you enjoyed together before the health issue arose, and modify them when needed.

If all this seems easier said than done, there are specific things you can do to make sure you’re maintaining appropriate boundaries in your role as caregiver for a partner:

  • Place some favorite photos or memorabilia from past vacations you’ve taken in areas where you’ll see them frequently to remind yourself of the good times you’ve shared together.
  • Hold hands, offer spontaneous hugs, give a back rub or shoulder massage, etc. to stay in close physical contact outside of touch that is a required component of care.
  • Keep an active social network, both as a couple and individually. The activities you participate in with family and friends may need to be modified but should never be eliminated altogether.
  • Work on resolving any conflicts in a healthy way, bringing in a professional counselor for help if needed.

An at-home caregiver is a great way to ensure your partner has all of the help and support needed, letting you focus on spending quality time together as a couple. Contact our experts in elderly care in Niles and the surrounding communities at (866) 229-2505 to learn more about exactly how we can help.

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