How to Maintain a Healthy Marriage While Caring for Aging Parents

Mature couple holding hands
Mature couple holding hands

Use these tips to make caring for elderly parents and maintaining your marriage less stressful.

In marriage we agree to stick together for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health – but what doesn’t come up in our vows to each other is how to handle the increasing demands of senior care as our parents age.

Yet with our life span increasing, it’s important to have a plan in place to meet both the needs of our parents as they grow older, and the plethora of day-to-day needs, all while honoring our cherished relationship with a spouse. It’s a challenge that’s causing stress and strain for 80% of couples surveyed, resulting in detachment and less quality time together. The following areas in a marriage are particularly impacted by caring for aging parents:

  • Finances. Still holding the top spot for the reason cited for divorce, financial strain is magnified when the older parent has not implemented a financial plan for long-term care. Honestly communicating frustrations with each other and working together to explore options to pay for services can help.
  • Fatigue. As rewarding as it may be, meeting the needs of an elderly loved one requires a great deal of time and energy – leaving little left over at the end of the day for your spouse. Accept opportunities for assistance from others or hire professional in-home senior care help such as Responsive Home Care, so you can be sure to allow for quality time with your spouse.
  • Frustration. Mounting frustration and diminished patience are two common side effects of fatigue, and sadly, we tend to lash out at those we love the most when feeling overwhelmed. Allow imperfection, practice understanding, and seek professional help if needed.

So how else can you avoid these pitfalls and maintain a strong and healthy marriage? These tips can help:

  • Make sure your spouse is always a top priority. Small gestures can go a long way towards this end, such as writing a note of love and appreciation, waking up a few minutes early to share a cup of coffee together before the day becomes hectic, or setting aside time at the end of the day to talk and unwind.
  • Joining an online support group for family caregivers can allow you the opportunity to vent frustrations to those in similar circumstances, alleviating stress.
  • Seek out the services of a professional counselor, either for you individually or for the two of you as a couple.

Another great way to achieve a healthy life balance is through partnering with a trusted in-home care provider, like Responsive Home Care. Our team of Ft. Lauderdale caregivers offers customized respite care solutions that allow family members to take time away from parental care, while offering seniors the opportunity for enhanced socialization with a friendly and fully-trained caregiver. Contact us online or call us at 954-486-6440 to explore our Ft. Lauderdale senior care options today!