Tips for When a Spouse is Aging at a Different Rate

Very rarely do we see a couple over the age of 65 age at the same rate. Whether cognitively or physically, one person usually has higher needs and the other falls into more of a “caregiver” role, aging at different rates. 

This can be extremely hard on the relationship. For both parties, it can cause anger, resentment, fear, and exhaustion. That said, there are some ways to assist the process to make sure both spouses are getting the support they need to thrive. Here are a few: 

1 – Support Groups and/or Support Services 

Both people in the relationship must be seeking support, whether by way of a support group with others navigating a similar journey or by seeing a therapist for one-on-one guidance.  

Both people in the relationship are dealing with their own unique emotions and changes and having a safe place to vent and work through the challenges makes a huge positive impact on the relationship. Trust us – this is imperative!  

2 – Private In-Home Care Services  

Having a private duty caregiver come into the home can provide support for both the spouse needing care, as well as the spouse playing the role as the “Caregiver.”  

This is a great solution to give the “caregiving” spouse a break to go out with a friend, or even just run errands without the worry or guilt of leaving their spouse alone. Also, it gives the other person some space to breathe and a new person to socialize with! Typically, you private pay by the hour for these services. 

3 – Daytime Senior Care 

Caregiver burnout is a REAL. It’s critical, especially for the “caregiving” spouse, to rest and recharge. Getting a break for even just 8 hours during the day can make a huge difference. However, sometimes hiring a private home care agency just isn’t enough.  

Therefore, daytime care such as a senior day care center solves two very important problems. First, it gives the “caregiving” spouse a true break. They can have their whole house to themselves to read a book, take a nap, watch a movie, have friends over, run errands or pursue new hobbies.  

Second, it gives the spouse in need of care a place to socialize, find purpose and have fun with others going through a similar stage in their own life.  

4 – “Independent Style” Assisted Living Community 

In situations where one spouse needs significantly more care than the other, a move to an “independent style” of assisted living is a great option. The couple would move into an apartment together (1 or 2 bedrooms). This allows them to come and go and keep certain routines, knowing their loved one is being cared for and supported. 

Knowledge is power and having a support team is imperative for every family Caregiver. We’d like to thank Sunways Senior Living for their contribution to this article. Visit the Sunways Senior Living website to learn more about their services and how they can help.  

If you are caring for your mom, dad, spouse or a loved one, we are here to help! Receive a FREE copy of Florida’s 5-Step Guide to Senior Care by simply calling our senior care expert hotline at 941-676-3411.

ActivAge offers in home and adult day care to help you provide the best in senior care services to your loved one. Get a Guest Pass for our adult day care program or explore your home care options.

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