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Balancing Marriage And Caring For Aging Parents

Your 1+1 Team
August 20, 2022

When you are your loved one’s caregiver, it can affect all aspects of your life. As a caregiver, you are devoting your time and energy to taking care of a whole other person. This can be difficult for someone with other relationships and responsibilities to prioritize. It is essential to learn how to balance your role as a caregiver with your personal life. Otherwise, it can cause further problems such as strain on your relationships. Specifically, caregiving can have a toll on marriage because of the added stress and lack of investment in the relationship.

Try these tips for balancing caring for aging parents to keep your marriage strong and avoid caregiver burnout.

1. Don’t procrastinate self-care

When you’re stressed as a caregiver, it is common to push back on time to prioritize yourself and navigate your personal life. Ignoring time to focus on yourself because you have “too many doctor appointments to accompany this week” will only cause further stress. Just setting time aside to talk through your emotions can help you destress and manage your relationships. As silly as this sounds, schedule an appointment to have these conversations with your significant other. It will help you process each other’s feelings to avoid potential blowups.

2. No topic is off limits

You should be able to talk about everything with your spouse. Married couples should trust each other enough to talk about whatever is on their mind without judgment. Make all subjects fair game in your conversations.

3. Remember to listen

A conversation doesn’t mean anything if only one person is talking and the other is listening. Be sure communication is two-way between you and your partner. Listen to what they have to say and avoid interrupting. You can also make sure you’re being a good listener by repeating what they said in your own words to avoid misunderstandings.

4. Don’t drown in self-pity

No issue has ever been solved by feeling sorry for yourself. Try turning your negative thoughts into positive ones, so you can have a better outlook on your situation. Your hope and positivity can shift your moods to uplift your relationships.

5. Don’t point fingers

Blaming others can be very destructive to your relationships. While it is a natural tendency to play the blame game, truthfully no one is at fault for your situation. Your loved one needed care and after considering all of the options, the responsibility fell onto you. The best thing you can do in this situation is to make sure you’re not alone. Work together with your significant other to navigate your circumstances.

6. Practice teamwork

Remember your vows to support each other through thick and thin. In a marriage, you and your spouse are partners. You both are in this together and have each other’s backs in any situation. Sharing the load of responsibilities with your significant other can make caregiving much easier.

7. Give each other space

When your role is to take care of others, your well-being would benefit from some alone time. Carve out time in your schedule to be alone with your thoughts and rejuvenate. Make sure your partner gets the necessary space they need as well. It is healthy to give each other space in a relationship, that’s why “man-caves” and “she-sheds” exist.

8. Keep the flame alive

While it’s important to get through the hard times together, it’s equally necessary to prioritize the fun in your marriage. Set time away from your responsibilities for date nights and extra minutes cuddling in bed. If no family and friends can take care of your loved one during the scheduled time, consider respite from professional caregivers.

9. Remember the simple things

Married couples can show each other love by keeping up with simple gestures. Try to do a small act of love or kindness every day for your partner whether it’s just complimenting them or cooking their favorite meal.

10. Build a support system

You can avoid stress taking a toll on your marriage by seeking support in caregiving duties, so you don’t have to do it alone. Ask family and friends, seek help from neighbors, or consider hiring professional assistance.

11. Stay Healthy

Taking care of yourself and your health can help you feel your best to conquer any challenges caregiving throws your way. Exercise as much as you can, eat balanced meals, and maintain your stress levels. Remember to take a break whenever you feel caregiving is starting to impact your health!

Take into account that any disruption in your family’s long-standing routine can take time for everyone to adjust to. Patience, communication, and understanding between each other are crucial to settling into the new normal.

1+1 Cares is a referral agency that works for clients and caregivers. We match caregivers with clients and inform them of your requirements. We work for you so you and your loved one can have a safe, enjoyable caregiving experience. Get In-Home Care for your aging family member.

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