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.


 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…)


 May 10, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

“You can make it, but it’s easier if you don’t have to do it alone.” – Betty Ford

No one is an island, and that’s particularly true as an Alzheimer’s caregiver. But even so, many family caregivers falter with regards to asking for or accepting the assistance they need. Because of this, stress is exacerbated as there is little or no time for self-care – a vital feature for any person in a caregiving role. (more…)


 May 2, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

Leaving someone you love in someone else’s care is never easy, especially if it’s an older loved one. Whether the aging loved one is at home or a facility, you will have important questions you want answered. You’ll also want to be prepared to advocate for the senior to proactively manage potential problems and to quickly take care of issues that do take place. (more…)


 April 20, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

Many of today’s seniors were raised during the Great Depression. They lived through a period of time when the nation was pinching pennies and cutting corners. Frugality was embedded in many of them very early on and often remains firmly in place for a lifetime. (more…)


 April 6, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

From the moment you woke up this morning up until the end of an exhausting day, you have given your all to your older family member. You provided help with showering and dressing, prepared nutritious meals, cleaned the house, all while making sure the person was happily involved in enjoyable activities, made it for their 3:00 hair appointment, and picked up prescriptions and groceries afterwards. And while you are not doing any of these things for a pat on the back, a simple “thank you” would be nice – but is rarely offered. (more…)


 March 3, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

In a perfect world, our family interactions would all be positive and helpful. We would handle transitional times smoothly, cooperatively, and without any disagreement. As our parents grew older, it would be a seamless process to satisfy their needs today and their needs in the future. (more…)


 February 17, 2022 by Dean Bellefeuille

Most of us are jotting down notes all of the time: shopping lists, to-do reminders, appointments, meetings, events…the list goes on and on. For family caregivers, there are additional reasons for writing while managing another person’s life along with their own. (more…)


 September 16, 2021 by Dean Bellefeuille

Disorientation. Confusion. Memory loss. While these are certainly hallmark symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease as well as other types of dementia, they could also come about from taking particular medications. Rather than immediately assuming an inevitable diagnosis of dementia, review the following list of medications that may cause similar effects that can be mistaken for dementia symptoms. (more…)