Being a caregiver can be stressful, but caring for an aging spouse comes with special challenges that make the job even more difficult. If you’re providing care for your elderly husband or wife, consider the following tips.
1. Know What You’re Up Against
It can be difficult to be objective when it comes to caring for someone you’ve spent a large portion of your life with. You may not want to see your spouse become more forgetful or experience a significant decrease in health. If you suspect any changes in your spouse’s physical or mental health, make an appointment with his or her physician. Involve your spouse in as much of the planning and decision-making process as possible. The last thing an aging spouse wants is to feel like your child instead of your partner.
Caring for senior loved ones can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
2. Get Help when Needed
If possible, enlist the help of another family member or a professional caregiver to handle some of the caregiving-related work. Your spouse might feel embarrassed asking for help with bathing or other personal hygiene tasks. Even if embarrassment isn’t an issue, having all of the work on your shoulders may be too much for you to handle.
Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs live-in care, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Home Care Assistance can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home.
3. Preserve Your Marital Relationship
Don’t forget the person you’re taking care of is your husband or wife. Spend time together in a non-caregiving way. For instance, you can watch a movie together or take a romantic walk on the beach. Develop a hobby you can do together, such as reading the same book and talking about it or doing crossword puzzles together.
4. Make the Home Comfortable
Your elderly spouse is no less a partner in the marriage just because he or she depends on you more. Make sure the house is as comfortable and accommodating for your spouse as possible. Consult with the doctor about special accommodations that could make the home safer and more comfortable for your spouse. For instance, if your spouse is in a wheelchair, a ramp or chair lift can help with stairs.
5. Take Care of Yourself
When acting as a spousal caregiver, don’t forget about your own health. You need to be strong for your elderly husband or wife, which is why it’s important to take care of yourself. Make sure to nurture friendships so you have someone you can vent to. Take some time off daily for a favorite hobby like reading, knitting, or exercising. Even if it’s for ten minutes, taking a break can relieve stress and remind you that pursuing your favorite hobbies is also important.
Providing care for a loved one can be a difficult task, especially if it’s handled alone. Families who need help caring for senior loved ones can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Harrisburg elderly home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more. For reliable in-home care services, contact us at (717) 540-4663 today.