3 Practical Tips for Providing Care and Support for a Spouse
“In sickness and in health,” is the promise you make on your wedding day. Little do we realize when we utter these words, what they truly mean throughout years of marriage, and eventually as we face old age.
When a sudden illness ushers you into a caregiving role, your marriage and roles likely experience a big shift. If you’re faced with caring for a spouse, use these practical tips to help cope with the stress.
Empower Your Spouse
“He criticizes my driving and everything I do to help him!” A critical spouse may make you feel like you can’t do anything right. It’s hard not to take criticism from your spouse personally.When a spouse loses their ability to do everyday activities like driving a car on their own, they may feel like a failure too. By losing their ability to contribute and participate, their frustrations may turn to criticism. While this doesn’t make their criticism right, it may help understand their perspective.
Empower your spouse by finding something they can have control over. If they can no longer help with certain physical activities, let them plan the events of the day or choose what to make for dinner.
Rely on Your Community & Support Networks
Caregiving for a spouse can become a full-time job. Because injuries or illnesses can strike at any age, don’t feel like you have to handle these hardships on your own. Research community resources and support groups for respite care and home care options for help when you need it. Involve your faith community for help with respite, home maintenance, or other assistance.
Take Care of Yourself
Providing extensive care for a loved one can wear down even the strongest individuals. It’s important to take care of yourself by eating healthy meals, getting outside for a walk, planning outings with friends, and setting aside time for yourself to rest and relax.
So for today, get outside, take a breath of fresh air, and call a friend. Don’t forget, you’re not alone.