September 2, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

If you’re in a successful, lasting relationship, you know that it requires compromise, commitment, and sacrifice. The happiest relationships are the ones where both parties selflessly take care of one another. This balance shifts, however, if the person you love encounters a significant health concern, and you need to take on a spousal caregiving role. And this shift can have an adverse effect on the dynamics of your relationship if you are not vigilant, as you find yourself in this new role.

Obviously, you want to do whatever you can for your partner. However, it’s important to ensure you’re not losing your romantic connection in the process. Attempting to parent your companion may cause bitterness – for the two of you. To promote healthy boundaries, keep the following in mind:

  • Convey your love for your partner in ways that have nothing in connection with the care you’re providing. Write love letters, provide simple, thoughtful gifts, and tell the person just how much you appreciate specific attributes you notice in them.
  • Be deliberate in creating opportunities to focus on your relationship aside from the injury or illness. Continue to participate in the activities and conversations you enjoyed together before the health issue arose, altering as needed.
  • Have an open, honest discussion about how the health changes are affecting you. Brainstorm ways to find a new normal that will be fulfilling for both of you, setting new, attainable goals and dreams together.
  • Encourage your spouse to remain as independent as possible. Even though you undoubtedly have the best of intentions in wanting to help, it’s easy to cross the line into causing harm to the person’s self-esteem. Plan extra time, provide adaptive tools, and step back when you can to permit the person to do whatever they can for themselves.

If all of this seems easier in theory, there are a few specific steps you can take to make sure you’re maintaining appropriate boundaries in your role as caregiver for a partner:

  • Place some favorite memorabilia or photos from previous vacations you’ve taken in places where you’ll see them frequently, to remind yourself of the happy times you’ve had together.
  • Offer hugs, hold hands, give a back rub or shoulder massage, etc. to stay in close physical contact outside of touch that is a required component of care.
  • Keep an active social network, both as a couple and individually. The activities you engage in with family and friends might need to be modified, but should never be eliminated altogether.
  • Work on resolving any conflicts in a healthy way, bringing in a professional counselor for help if required.

An at-home caregiver is a great option to make sure your partner has all the assistance needed, letting you prioritize spending quality time together as a couple. Reach out to a Syracuse in home care company like At Home Independent Living for help. Call our care team at (315) 579-HOME (4663) to find out how our services can help you and your family. To learn more about all of the areas we serve in New York, please visit our Service Area page.

 August 19, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

You’ve decided the family home is just way too much for your mother and father to manage. A small house became available just around the corner from you that’s ideal: a beautiful flower garden in the yard, a sunny, cheerful kitchen, and no stairs to navigate. Now it is time to start the downsizing process. The only problem? Mom has dementia. (more…)

 August 1, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

If you are trying to make healthy meals for seniors who prefer carbs to carrots (because who doesn’t?), you may find it challenging to guarantee that their nutritional needs are being achieved. And you’re not alone. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention shares that just one in ten seniors is meeting the recommendation for at least three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit every day. Multiple studies have found that older adults who do follow these guidelines lower their risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic health issues, and ultimately live longer. (more…)

 July 13, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

In his documentary about grief, George Shelley uses an analogy of glitter. Toss a handful of glitter into the air, and it is going to settle into most of the crevices and cracks of the room, making it impossible to fully sweep up and remove. Anyone who has lost a loved one can relate. Yet, in certain instances, grief could be so overwhelming that it can lead to a serious and aptly-named condition: broken heart syndrome. (more…)

 June 17, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

Sometimes, it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day to do what needs to be done as a family caregiver. Family caregivers are often overloaded with daily care tasks: Planning and preparing meals. Planning activities that are purposeful and enjoyable for the senior. Medical appointments. Shopping and other errands. Housework and laundry. Personal care and hygiene. And all of this is in addition to meeting the needs of your own household, children, spouse, and if there’s any time left over, yourself! (more…)

 June 2, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

Benjamin Franklin hit the nail on the head: An ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure. When it comes to detecting and addressing mobility issues in seniors, prevention is crucial. Falls in seniors lead to 300,000 hip fractures, 3 million emergency room visits, and 32,000 deaths each year, according to the CDC. (more…)