Caregiving and your partner

A Caregiving.com survey showed some of the domestic pressures when in this situation which include: reduced leisure time, emotional stress, physical fatigue, financial draws, and loss of privacy. However, some of the couples surveyed reported a benefit: Their relationship actually got stronger by the new kind of teamwork which caregiving prompted.

Here are some tips:

Strive for balance. You may feel a sense of debt to a parent, but you also need to recognize that your marriage is your future. Strive to arrange your caregiving duties so your partner does not feel like they are your last priority. On a routine basis discuss your shared values and how you can fit them into your life as a couple.

What makes your partner feel loved? You can likely answer this question quite easily: Quality time together? A love note? Physical affection? Handling a chore or errand? A small gift? (HINT: Usually what he or she tends to do for you is a clue) You are able to build trust and dedication with these weekly gestures of love.

Time together is essential. Most families have one adult child who takes on the main caregiver role. If you are the main caregiver, be certain your siblings are aware you won’t sacrifice your marriage. Create time for your relationship by asking your siblings for:

  • respite (spending some of their vacation time taking care of mom);
  • help with chores (handling the checkbook, keeping the car in good condition);
  • financial assistance, so you can hire help.

Have a Plan B

Keep a watchful eye for signs of distress. If your partner is overeating, drinking more, arguing, or coming home later, it is time for a change. Consider:

  • hiring in-home care;
  • having your relative live in an assisted living facility;
  • moving your relative to live with a different family member.

Have a care manager help review all the options and/or talk with your family members about a change in the sharing of the care.