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How to Support a Caregiving Spouse

A spouse who’s also providing support to an elderly parent or relative has a lot on his or her plate – in addition to usual things on their daily “to do” list. There are, however, certain things that the other partner in the equation can do to ease the burden a caregiver often carries; an extra load that may lead to added stress or, in some cases, bouts of depression and increased irritability.

As a premier provider of senior care in Annapolis, we often see how caring for a senior loved one can put added strains on a marriage or relationship. It’s important to act as a team, and to embark on this journey together. In other words, any amount of support that you can provide to your spouse or significant other is likely to be greatly appreciated.

Emotional Support

The most important thing that an individual can do for their caregiving spouse is to be there for emotional support. A caregiver often puts on a brave face in front of their loved one, sometimes refraining from discussing their own problems. Emotional support can include:

  • Providing a shoulder for support when a loved one has not-so-good days
  • Offering reassurance that they’re doing a good job as a caregiver
  • Simply listening as they share their feelings or concerns about their loved one
  • Making periodic “check in” calls (or sending texts) to see if everything is alright

Pitch In at Home

Any extra support at home can also lighten a caregiver’s load, especially if they have to fit their caregiving tasks, whether it be taking their loved one to doctor’s appointments or running errands for them, into an already busy home schedule. At-home assistance can include:

  • Helping with household chores
  • Picking up and dropping off the kids
  • Doing some of the grocery shopping and cooking

While dividing up caregiver duties may not always be practical (sometimes mom or dad only wants a daughter or son caring for them for whatever reason), there are likely to be some duties, like running errands, that the other spouse can perform while their significant other stays with their loved one.

Suggest Support Services

Some family members feel a sense of obligation to care for their loved one and can even feel guilty leaving him or her to tend to their own needs. However, the health of the caregiver should never be at risk, and breaks should be taken periodically to minimize physical and emotional stress. Caregivers should find time to rest, and should look for outlets to share their feelings by:

  • Hiring part-time or live-in home care in Annapolis to provide respite
  • Attending caregiver support groups to share their feelings and emotions
  • Considering counseling to keep emotional health at optimal levels

If your spouse is caring for an aging parent or loved one and you feel they could use respite or professional assistance to help relieve some of their caregiving responsibilities, call 443-302-2771 and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with the trusted home care provider, Home Care Assistance of Annapolis. We’re available 24/7 to answer questions and provide support.