If you are a primary caregiver for someone you love, then you probably started your job pretty suddenly. Most family caregivers step up to the plate whenever one of their loved ones falls ill or becomes injured in an accident. If this sounds familiar, then you may not have learned how to manage your caregiving life and your personal life. It is easy to get sucked into your job and only think about the person who you are caring for, but if you do this, then you may cut a few essential people out of your life, including your spouse. If you have suddenly become a caregiver for someone you love, then keep reading to find out how you can learn to balance caring for your loved one and keeping your marriage alive.
If you are feeling guilty about not spending enough time with your spouse or your elderly loved one, then you may need to lower your expectations. You cannot be everywhere all of the time. You also can never be all things that you need to be for every person in your family and friend group. Accept that you cannot be there for everyone all of the time and move forward. You must lower your expectations in order to stay happy and keep all of your relationships healthy. If you prioritize your time and work on your time management skills then you can learn to balance your time between your elderly loved one and your spouse. You can easily care for your elderly loved one and spend enough time with your spouse if you balance your time accurately. By balancing your time, you can also provide great care for your loved one and keep your spouse happy.
If you are the only person in your family caring for your elderly loved one, then it may be time to seek outside help. Ask your family members and close friends to take a few shifts off of your hands to lighten your load. If your family members seem happy to help, then you may even be able to spread out the caregiving shifts to many different people so that you can spend more time with your spouse. If no one in your family is willing to help out or has the time to help out, then you may wish to seek outside help from a caregiving company. If your loved one needs medical or non-medical care they may benefit from in-home care from qualified and certified caregivers and health care providers. This type of care may be a bit more expensive than caring for your loved one yourself, but your loved one’s insurance may pay for the care. Plus, if hiring a professional caregiver saves you time and saves you marriage, then the money spent may be worth it.
Celebrate the Small Things
Caregiving experts all agree that your attitude is an essential influence on your overall experience with caregiving. If you have a great attitude about your new found role, then your new job should go smoothly and your marriage should stay strong. A good attitude can truly help keep your marriage alive. You also should keep a good attitude during your everyday life. Find a way to celebrate events with your loved one such as birthdays and holidays to boost your attitude and stay happy. Your spouse will love the celebration and will love seeing how you decide to celebrate. Something as simple as picking up flowers or a cake from a local florist or bakery can make your spouse happier and feel loved. Another way to keep your attitude strong and optimistic is to create small traditions with your spouse. Simply having a date every Friday night or watching your favorite television show together can help boost your overall attitude and outlook on life. Another great way to boost your attitude is to look for small gifts for your spouse. Picking up your spouse something small like a piece of candy or a magazine or book they love will show your spouse that you care for them and love them. Their appreciation can help boost your overall attitude and keep your marriage strong.
Being a caregiver can be extremely stressful, especially if you and your spouse begin to have trouble due to your new role. Losing touch with your spouse can happen easily if you are the primary caregiver for your elderly loves one for a prolonged period of time. It often becomes hard to leave your elderly loved one alone when you feel they need your help, and it is easy to think that your spouse will understand. But, in reality, your spouse may feel left out if you constantly put your elderly loved one’s needs above theirs. You may also feel guilty for constantly choosing one over the other. To keep your marriage strong and happy, and to keep your own guilt at bay, you must make time for your spouse just like you make time for your elderly loved one. You and your spouse need to spend time alone each week to simply talk to one another. By going on weekly dates and by finding the time to talk to each other each day of the week, you can show your spouse that they still are important to you even though you are caring for your elderly loved one. It is also important that you take time to do things for your spouse. Even though you may spend most of your time caring for an elderly you love, it is vital that you continue caring for your spouse as well. Your spouse will love you taking time out of your day to care for them and show them that you love them. Overall, you must show your loved one how much you love them by keeping the lines of communication open and by always making time for your spouse.
For related articles, check the following posts in our home care blog:
- Balancing Elder Care with Other Relationships in Your Life
- Caregiver Tips: Forgiving an Elderly Loved Ones for How They Treated You in the Past
- Signs of an Over-Involved Caregiver
- Tips for New Family Caregivers