Caring for a spouse can provide tender and enjoyable moments. It can also be an immense challenge.
Based on our experience as a licensed caregiving company in Whatcom County, here are three tips for making the best of caring for a loved one:
- Choose to see the situation for what it is. It can be easy for spousal caregivers to focus on negatives and play the “what if” game. Instead, choose to be positive, to be realistic. Take a step back, assess the situation and find opportunities to be thankful. Getting to spend extra time with your spouse, for one thing, is a treasure ― even if you don’t always feel that way.
Tip: When you’re feeling less than positive, chatting with another person in your situation can sometimes make a difference. Northwest Adult Day Health, for example, offers a Caregiver Connection group in Lynden, and local senior centers often offer support groups for caregivers. A five-minute phone call to a friend or family member also can be an immense help.
- Find ways to enjoy the time together. What do you both love? Maybe it’s listening to music, going for walks, watching a baseball game or planting geraniums. Scheduling time each day for activities that you both enjoy can help remind both of you how much fun life can be with a partner.
Tip: Take time for yourself, too, to do what you love. Read a book, cook a special dinner, work on a crossword puzzle… Even if you feel you don’t have much time in your day to relax, a few minutes here and there can help.
- Take extended breaks. When a few minutes’ rest isn’t enough, schedule a longer break. Caring for a spouse can be a 24/7 job, but it doesn’t have to be. Find someone who can give you periodic breaks to rest, recharge and step out of the house.
Tip: Two eight-hour breaks each week can help. Regular, scheduled time off allows caregivers to rest from the pressure of caregiving and to get some other tasks done.
The licensed caregivers at Take My Hand At-Home Care offer a wide array of respite services for Whatcom County caregivers. Give us a call today to learn more about the benefits of hiring a caregiver for spousal respite. (And ask us what else we can do to help, such as make dinner or handle light housekeeping while you are taking a break.) Take My Hand also offers overnight care, for those times when you need to be away or just need a full night’s sleep.
We are here to help!