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Easing Family Caregiver Stress: Asking Your Spouse to Take More of a Role in Managing Your Household

Family Caregivers in Wellesley, MA

Becoming a family caregiver for your aging parents can mean adding a variety of responsibilities to your existing schedule. Any type of family caregiving brings stress as you devote time, energy, and emotions to making sure the recipient of the care is safe, healthy, and happy in accordance with his specific needs. Though most people are efficient at coping with this type of stress as they manage their careers, maintain their marriage, and raise their children, when the need to step into a role as a family caregiver for elderly parents as well, the stress can become overwhelming.

Family caregiver stress is not about being weak, lazy, or disinterested in the needs of your elderly parents. Feeling stressed does not mean that you do not love your parents or do not want to give them the care they need in order for them to manage their daily needs and live a high quality of life. This stress simply means that you have more obligations on you than you have the physical and emotional energy to handle without feeling tired or emotionally strained.

Though family caregiver stress can be common, it is not something to be taken lightly. Experiencing high levels of family caregiver stress for an extended period can put you at higher risk of illness, fatigue, depression, irritability, and other consequences. When facing these effects, you are not able to fulfill any of your responsibilities with the gentleness, affection, compassion, and effectiveness they deserve.

Though there are many ways you can cope with family caregiver stress, the most effective is to reduce the amount of pressure that is on you. When you have fewer responsibilities and still feel that all of the obligations in your life are properly fulfilled, you can release your anxiety, focus your energies on the tasks you do have, and feel more relaxed. Your spouse can be a valuable source of support and assistance in making this possible.

Asking your spouse to take on more of a role in managing your household can be awkward, especially if you have always managed your household in a specific way, but it can be an incredible step toward easing your stress, being a better family caregiver for your parents, and maintaining your bond with your spouse and your children.

Some of the tasks you can ask your spouse, and even older children, to take over for you while you care for your parents include:

  • Dishes
  • Laundry
  • Pet care
  • Sweeping and mopping
  • Vacuuming and carpet cleaning
  • Changing the beds
  • Packing school lunches
  • Running the carpool
  • Preparing dinner a few times each week
  • Grocery shopping
  • Managing the household budget
  • Picking up dry cleaning

Just as effective, and in some situations even more effective, as helping you with the tasks of managing your own household is having help with your family caregiving tasks for your elderly parents. There may be certain tasks that are emotionally or physically challenging to you, or that are time-consuming when handled with other tasks. Asking your spouse to take over some of these tasks can give you tremendous relief. Depending on your spouse’s relationship with your parents, some of the tasks he may be able to take over for you include:

  • Bathing your father
  • Assisting with toileting
  • Transporting your parents to doctors’ appointments
  • Picking up prescriptions
  • Running errands such as grocery shopping

If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Metrowest Boston, MA, call Griswold Home Care and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (781) 559-0073