Easing the Burden of Spousal Caregivers

Easing the Burden of Spousal Caregivers

Approximately 6 million U.S. spousal caregivers offer in-home care to their ill, disabled or aging spouse, but often at the risk of stress-related conditions including anxiety, depression, headaches, backaches and sleep deprivation. Eventually, care for an ailing loved one can lead to burnout in which the caregiver is depleted physically, mentally and emotionally.


Yet hesitations can arise over enlisting a professional caregiving service for help. After managing the care for so long, some spouses find it difficult to relinquish their home caregiver duties to someone else. Others struggle with guilt for no longer being able to provide the necessary care. Still others are not convinced anyone else will oversee their spouse’s health as well as they can.


Securing the help of a professional home caregiver is not a sign of weakness or giving up on the ailing family member, nor is asking for at-home care being selfish. Instead, hiring a trained caregiving service is actually showing greater love and concern for the spouse receiving care.


To encourage elderly wives or husbands to allow professional in-home care support, other family members and friends may consider the following:

  • Reaffirm that it’s okay to recharge. Spousal caregivers need to refresh their own overall health. Respite breaks are excellent for going to the gym, seeing a movie or lingering with a friend over coffee.
  • Help investigate home healthcare options. It’s important to select a reputable, experienced in-home care provider like Right at Home. Asking pertinent questions of potential in-home care services is vital.
  • Involve the ailing loved one in care decisions. As much as possible, invite the care recipient to weigh in on professional caregiving choices.
  • Assist with setting limits. Spousal caregivers often find it hard to say “no” and to let go of some home and care duties. It is better for everyone when the caregiving spouse eases up on unrealistic to-do lists.


What benefits do you perceive in seeking the professional help of an adult home care service?

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Right at Home offers in-home care to seniors and adults with disabilities who want to live independently. Most Right at Home offices are independently owned and operated, and directly employ and supervise all caregiving staff.
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