There are plenty of mother-in-law jokes out there that don’t need to be repeated. Yes, there could be tension between a husband and his mother-in-law, a wife and her mother-in-law, father-in-law, and other relationships. Relationships are difficult, but when an in-law moves in and is receiving care and support from either the husband or wife, or both, it can cause tension to develop in various relationships.
It’s not easy to keep a marriage together under these circumstances.
Whenever a husband and wife have an aging parent or other individual move in order to take care of them, it’s going to increase stress. In most of these cases, though, these men and women don’t view themselves as caregivers. They might see this as their responsibility or something they have little choice about, but that doesn’t change the inevitable reality of the situation: they have become caregivers.
How can this couple keep their marriage healthy?
They will likely discover the elderly in-law requires a significant amount of care and support on a regular basis. Some of that could be neediness, not necessity. How can this couple balance their personal relationship, their time, and their life with the needs of this elderly or disabled person?
First, it is absolutely crucial they set limits on exactly what they can do for this person.
It may seem a bit callous or indifferent on the surface, at least at first, but if they don’t establish clear and concise limitations, it can cause a wealth of problems to develop later on. The limits should involve just how much time they devote to this aging person, how much effort they give, and how much that aging senior does for himself or herself, depending on their physical abilities and limitations.
Second, they need to communicate often.
Husband-and-wife often realize the value of communication over time. However, when difficult circumstances arise and the husband, for example, feels as though having his mother moving in is an absolute necessity, he may be far less willing to have these conversations with his wife. However, without this open line of communication, challenges to the relationship will develop, build, and become much more significant, and it can also increase the stress both of them feel as caregivers.
Third, realize the value of home care support.
Hiring a home care aide isn’t out of the question, even when an aging parent or in-law moves in with a happily married couple. In fact, it can supplement the quality and level of care provided to the senior and the couple struggling to maintain a healthy marriage in spite of these circumstances.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care to reduce caregiver stress in Cherry Hill, NJ, please contact the caring staff at TLC HomeCare Services today at 856-234-8700
Kelly C. McCabe is the co-owner of TLC HomeCare Services.In addition to management, marketing and sales, staffing and recruiting, Kelly holds her New Jersey producer’s license in Health and Life insurance and isalso a New Jersey Certified Home Health Aide.Kelly is the proud mother of two daughters and is a resident of Moorestown, NJ.
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