Home Care Balancing Act: When Your Spouse Needs Support

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 18 January 2012

Bringing in home care is often a huge relief for families who need help meeting a loved one’s caregiving needs. However, welcoming a stranger into your home is not an easy transition, no matter how wonderful the professional caregiver may be.

This adjustment is especially difficult when the person who needs care is part of a couple, and the spouse has been the primary caregiver thus far.

Even when senior couples opt for a live-in caregiver to provide support 24-7, the well spouse still has an important role, may still essentially be the primary caregiver. Consequently, it is important to define who will handle what responsibilities early on. There needs to be a balance of power in order for the relationship between the couple and the care provider to work; each caregiver must respect the role of the other.

Privacy is essentially lost when someone new moves into your home, so it is also crucial to establish boundaries so that both the caregiver, spouse, and person receiving care all feel that they can have a safe place, that certain decisions or conversations or items are protected.

Couples anticipating the arrival of a home care professional should prepare accordingly, talking about how he/she can be most helpful and where you envision the new caregiver will fit in best.


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