Caring for a spouse gives you more time to bond and build precious memories, but it can also be a stressful role. You need to find balance between your caregiver role and your role as a husband or wife. Here are some tips to make being a family caregiver for an elderly spouse easier and less stressful.
1. Stay Socially Active
If you and your spouse have participated in social activities together, continue with those things, regardless if he or she is able to join you. When you fail to maintain a social life outside of caregiving, you could become sad, regretful, and angry. However, by staying socially active, you can enhance your mood, reduce feelings of boredom, and boost your cognitive health.
2. Take Care of Your Own Health
Caring for an elderly spouse may take a lot out of you mentally, physically, and emotionally. However, you must take care of yourself, which means going to the doctor regularly for testing, working out a few times each week, and eating well-balanced meals. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep to stave off various age-related illnesses. Taking care of yourself is the best way to prevent caregiver burnout, among other issues such as heart disease, arthritis, and depression.
One of the best ways to care for yourself is to hire a professional caregiver to be there for your spouse when you need a break. Families shouldn’t have to worry about finding reliable home care. Sarasota Home Care Assistance is a leading provider of elderly home care. We offer a proprietary program called the Balanced Care Method, which uses holistic methods to promote senior health, our caregivers and Care Managers are available 24/7, and all of our in-home care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
3. Promote Independence
If your spouse is able to do things independently, encourage him or her to do so. It’s easy for seniors to rely on their spouses for everything, but receiving and not giving back could cause issues in the marriage and the caregiving experience. Therefore, your spouse should continue cooking, cleaning, and helping out around the home.
When considering homecare, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits.
4. Find Ways to Balance Caregiving and Your Relationship
Without balance, you may take on the mental and physical issues your spouse is living with, which could cause your health to decrease. If you find yourself using “our diagnosis” instead of “my spouse’s diagnosis,” you may be too close to the issues. You two are still a unit, and being there for your spouse is important, but you need to take time to visit with friends and family outside of the home or join a support group to speak with people who are going through a similar situation. When you have balance, your duties as a caregiver may become less stressful.
5. Consider In-Home Respite Care
Your body will need to take breaks on a regular basis. Get out and participate in activities you enjoyed in the past, and get a good night’s sleep. If your children are unable to help, hire a professional caregiver to step in from time to time. Asking for help doesn’t make you a bad spouse. It means you want to remain in good health so you can continue being a great spouse and caregiver. With in-home respite care, you can customize the care to meet your needs as well as the needs of your elderly spouse.
Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If you’re caring for an aging loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide respite care. Sarasota families who want to prevent burnout can turn to Home Care Assistance. One of our professional caregivers can assist your loved one at home while you take a nap, go to work, run errands, or go on vacation. Call (941) 702-5525 today to learn more about our premier at-home care.