Your aging in place elderly mother has been in declining health for several years now. She lives nearby, so you and your spouse take turns providing mom with the care she needs. But you both also have jobs, a household and two active children to manage. Some days you and your spouse hardly see one another at all, and now the kids are starting to complain. What should you do? Trying to juggle caregiving with a marriage and family life is hard, but it can be done by taking these steps.
Family Caregiver Facts
According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, over 40 million Americans serve as family caregivers, and most (60%) are also employed. Given the fact that many of them are also married with children places additional stress on their relationships.
Here are some other quick facts about family caregivers from the FCA:
- 34 million take care of an adult who’s 50+
- 60% of caregivers are female
- On average, 24 hours per week are spent on caregiving
- 40 million help those with a disability or chronic illness
- 16 million care for someone with Alzheimer’s or other dementia
- The average length of time spent caregiving is 4+ years
Challenges Married Caregivers Face
Married couples who also have kids typically face these challenges while caring for an elderly adult:
- Financial due to out-of-pocket care expenses
- Job-related issues like time off, being late, etc.
- Feelings of resentment and being ignored
- Relationship problems with a spouse or child
- Tension in the household
When these issues are-allowed-to linger within a household, it creates a toxic environment. Fortunately, there are several good ways to get all family members on the same page again.
Making it All Work
Caring for mom is a priority, but so are your spouse and kids. You can make it all work by:
Holding a Family Meeting
Schedule a family meeting where everyone can sit down and vent calmly and constructively. During that time, no topic is off limits as each person is given a chance to speak their mind freely- even if you don’t want to hear what they have to say. Use this meeting to air grievances, make apologies and discuss alternatives moving forward. And, hold this conversation sooner than later, as procrastination can be “poison” within relationships.
Not Casting Blame
If you’re running late for work (again) because you had to take mom to the doctor, don’t blame others within the household. Playing the “blame game” with your spouse or child, whether it’s justified or not, causes feelings of resentment that may never heal.
Exercising regularly, sleeping enough and eating right are important for all of you. And, doing so will also help ward off illnesses and lower stress levels. Spend quality time as a family doing some hiking or biking at a park, and then sit down afterwards to enjoy some healthy food and conversation.
If your kids are older, ask them to assist grandma with simple tasks like doing laundry or walking her dog. If they drive, they can even run mom to her doctor’s appointment or the grocery store. And, being around her grandkids more will probably bring a smile to grandma’s face!
Doing the Little Things
The simplest, loving gestures go a long way in relationships. Cook your spouse their favorite meal, or take your child to a theme park. Compliment one another each day while making sure to thank your spouse and kids for helping you out.
Seeking Outside Assistance
When things get too hectic, there are other caregiving resources you can turn to focus on your marriage and family life, like:
- Professional counseling
- Other family members or neighbors
- Adult daycare programs
- Agency on Aging (senior transportation, meals, etc.)
- Licensed home care agencies
We Provide Licensed In-Home Respite Care for Seniors
Balancing caregiving for an aging in place senior with your marriage and family life can be challenging. When you need a break, call HomeChoice Home Care Solutions. As a fully licensed and insured home care agency, our highly trained respite caregivers can step in and provide the nurturing care your loved one deserves so they can continue living comfortably right at home.
While there, our carefully screened aides can perform duties like light housekeeping, food shopping and meals, laundry, personal hygiene, medication reminders, transportation and companionship. And, all our family trusted in-home services can be individually tailored within an affordable package that’ll put your mind at ease! To learn more about HomeChoice Home Care Solutions, or to schedule a FREE, in-home care consultation for your senior today, please visit: www.homechoicehomecare.com now.