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September 7, 2022

How to Avoid Parenting When Caregiving for Your Partner

If you are in a successful, lasting relationship, you understand that it requires compromise, commitment, and sacrifice. The happiest relationships are those where both parties selflessly look after each other. This balance shifts, however, if you find yourself caregiving for your partner. And this shift can have an adverse impact on the dynamics of your relationship if you’re not careful.

Naturally, you want to do everything you can for your spouse. Nonetheless, it’s vital that you ensure you’re not sacrificing your romantic connection in the process. Trying to parent your companion can cause bitterness – for both of you. To keep healthy boundaries in place, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Express your love for your partner in ways that have nothing in connection with the care you are providing. Write love letters, provide simple, thoughtful gifts, tell the person just how much you admire specific traits you notice in them.
  • Have an open, honest discussion regarding how the health changes are affecting you. Brainstorm how to find a new normal that will be fulfilling for both of you, establishing new, attainable dreams and goals together.
  • Encourage your partner to remain as independent as possible. Although you certainly have the best of intentions in wanting to help, it is not difficult to cross the line into causing damage to the person’s self-esteem. Plan additional time, incorporate adaptive tools, and step back whenever you can to permit the person to do whatever they are able to on their own.
  • Be deliberate in creating opportunities to focus on your relationship independent of the injury or illness. Continue to take part in the activities and conversations you enjoyed together before the health issue arose, altering if needed.

If all this seems easier in theory, there are some specific things you can do to ensure you’re keeping appropriate boundaries when caregiving for your partner:

  • Place some favorite photos or memorabilia from past vacations you’ve taken in areas where you’ll see them often, 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 apart from touch that is a necessary element of care.
  • Keep an active social network, both as a couple and individually. Activities you engage in with relatives and friends may need to be modified, but should not be eliminated altogether.
  • Work on resolving any conflicts in a healthy way, bringing in a professional counselor for help if needed.

An at-home caregiver is a great option to ensure your partner has all of the support and help needed, letting you concentrate on spending quality time together as a couple. Contact us online or call us at (530) 885-7444 for more information regarding our Auburn, CA senior care services or care throughout the surrounding areas.

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