An AARP study found that spouses who care for another spouse have a high divorce rate. It’s not just spouses caring for a spouse. Family caregivers can feel the strain when they’re ignoring their significant other to provide care for an elderly parent. Don’t ignore the impact caregiving can have on your marriage.
What Studies Find About Family Caregivers
The Family Caregiver Alliance reports that 65 percent of older Americans receive home care services from a family friend or family member. About 66 percent of those caregivers are women. Statistically, women caregivers spend more time providing care than their male counterparts.
When women take over as family caregivers, studies find three major things happen. They cut their work hours, pass up a promotion, or ask to go on a leave of absence. Many of these women also spent years reducing work hours or staying home to have and raise children, so retirement funds are impacted. This can lead to additional stress. In fact, studies find that 20 percent of female caregivers admit to being stressed.
Where Do Marriages Fall Into This?
When you’re caring for an aging parent, it puts a strain on your marriage. You’re tired after caring for a senior all day. You may resent that your spouse is maintaining the same schedule while you’ve had to cut hours or quit a job. You feel frustrated, but you can’t get angry with your aging parent so your spouse takes the brunt of that anger and frustration.
All of this impacts a marriage. The resentment can build and cause a strain that may seem impossible to overcome. Before you reach a breaking point, you need to stop and remember that your marriage has to be equal to the care you provide. Talk to each other. If you’re frustrated, have a calm discussion and tell your spouse what could change to make it easier for you. Allow your spouse to do the same.
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, seeing your doctor for yearly exams, and eating the right foods. A healthy diet and full night of sleep can do a lot to help ease some of the stress you feel.
You need to get out and enjoy each other on a regular basis. Make sure respite care is a big part of family caregiving. You need those breaks to spend time with your spouse. Take a night off to go out to dinner, go to the movies, or spend time alone without interruptions. Call our home care agency now to talk about scheduling respite care.
For Caregiver Services in Collierville TN, please contact the caring staff at Personal Care Services MidSouth today!