Please enjoy this blog, excerpted from an article from our friends at Right at Home Darien who offer in home care and assistance.
For married couples, or those in a committed relationship, health is an intricate connection. Both partners influence each other’s diet, exercise, stress level and compliance with health care recommendations. Spouses even influence each other’s attitude about aging, which can have an impact through the years.
When one spouse experiences health challenges, the support of the other spouse can make all the difference in their well-being. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recently reported that married or partnered patients experience a better outcome after surgery, with fewer complications. Spouses provide both practical and emotional help when their loved one is recovering from an injury or health event, or living with arthritis, dementia, osteoporosis, heart disease, the effects of a stroke, or another chronic condition. A study from Penn State University found that patients with an understanding spouse feel a lower level of physical pain—and this support tends to raise marital satisfaction over time.
Yet providing care can impact the caregiving spouse’s physical and emotional health, financial well-being, career, and overall quality of life. As time passes, chances are that both spouses will face health challenges. As it becomes harder for them to care for each other, they can slip into isolation and depression.
If both spouses need assistance, they may need additional support. The couple may resist accepting help at first, not wanting to alter their lifelong dynamic, or fearing a loss of privacy. When adult children and others try to step in, the couple may protest that these well-meaning loved ones are intruding or trying to control them.
Adult children, long accustomed to their parents caring for each other, can quickly become overburdened by an increased task load. Their careers and relationships might suffer, and they’re also at risk for caregiver burnout.
It’s important to know when it is time to ask for help and call in professionals.
• Financial advisers can help couples navigate complicated money matters, such as managing assets to pay for care.
• Elder law attorneys can help with estate issues, advance directives and guardianships.
• Marriage counselors can help couples navigate this new stage of their relationship.
• Aging life care professionals (geriatric care managers) can locate and arrange for support services.
It’s also important to consider the best place to live. Polls show most couples prefer to age in place, in their own home, whether that is their long-time house or a smaller, more accessible place to which they’ve moved, or an independent senior living community. Home modifications and in home care services can preserve the couple’s sense of independence, dignity and self-esteem, allowing them to focus on their relationship as a couple.
At Home In Darien provides important services to assist such as professional transportation to medical appointments, the pharmacy, and out and about to keep the couple active and engaged. Volunteer services such as grocery shopping are also extremely helpful. Contact our office for more information.