Friday, April 28, 2017

3 Ways for Spousal Caregivers to Cope with their Grief and Pain

By Leandro Mueller

Who watches over the watchmen; who cares for the caregivers? In as so much that caregivers (especially spousal caregivers) are essential for the majority of baby boomers entering the retirement phase of their lives, some much-needed care and respect are crucial for these individuals to see the value of their efforts and sacrifices. After all, spousal caregivers tend to give more (and lose more) for their partners – their personal time, work opportunities, and even relationships with friends and family are all at risk.

As such, we’d like to list down several ways on how spousal caregivers can get through the darkest days of their lives. If you are one, take heart and know that there are people who care for everything you’ve done, are doing, and will do in the future. If you know one or are a care recipient, these tips may also help you acknowledge and assist you in allowing your spouse to have a better experience looking after you.

Acknowledge that You Need a Break
According to “Families Caring for an Aging America,” a report published last year by The National Academies Press, spouses make up approximately 21.5% of all caregivers looking after a family member in need of care during the golden years. As primary caregivers, same-generation spouses are also at risk of age-related (physical and cognitive) conditions.

It’s a conundrum – as recipients age and care demands increase, spousal caregivers are also exposed to health and emotional problems that’ll prove to be detrimental to their well-being. And this is why caregivers need to be aware and accept that they need and deserve a break. Caregiver stress is real – and if not addressed properly, may not only lead to lackluster custodial services, but a blow to one’s personal health and well-being as well.

You’re only human, after all. You need that break – please go and grab the chance for some R&R!

Connect with Others
The University of Exeter recently conducted a study on loneliness experienced by spousal caregivers. As determined by the researchers, caregiving can be a rewarding activity, yet mental and physical health is also at risk with of the loss of contact with other people. Additionally, and particularly for same-generation spousal caregivers, social isolation may soon seep into one’s life, which may result in anxiety or depression.

Spousal caregivers, aside from taking a break, also need to keep in touch with friends and families. Having an active emotional connection with peers will not only improve one’s emotional state – support in the form of learning retirement solutions, the latest trends in custodial care, or even self-care tips can be gained from simply talking with friends.

A Worthwhile Hobby will Matter
Additionally, pursuing a hobby will help spousal caregivers get over the pain or frustration that they may feel when accomplishing their custodial tasks. Think of this as a welcome, yet productive, escape from everyday life. For an even more practical hobby, consider gardening, learning a new skill (such as coding/computer literacy/arts & crafts), and even cooking as a way to connect your passion with your care recipient. Who knows, what makes you happy may also be a good opportunity to bond with your loved one!

Aside from these tips, we’d like to point spousal caregivers towards a helpful list of resources compiled by CBS Pittsburgh. The list will assist caregivers with any of their additional concerns on how to both properly stay functional and happy when looking after their loved ones.

Author Bio:
As the Online Content Director of FreeMedSuppQuotes.com, Leandro Mueller aims to push for awareness and promotion of the many benefits of Medigap insurance plans in the market. He hopes that his work will help boomers and retirement industry experts alike in their lives. He hopes that his work will lead people in applying for the best Medigap plan that will suit their needs and preferences.