How to Navigate Life as a Spousal Caregiver

By on July 24, 2019

Marriage is undoubtedly a beautiful experience. You’re able to share consistent, fun memories with the person you love. You’re able to raise a family of your own together as a caregiver. You have someone who will be by your side to make the more tedious aspects of life a little brighter.

In some ways, marriage becomes easier as you and your spouse age. You learn more about each other and yourselves. However, as you both grow, you’ll inevitably deal with trying times in your marriage.

Perhaps you’ve experienced some strain on your marriage due to your spouse’s development of a chronic disability or illness. If you’ve assumed the role of your spouse’s caregiver, you’re aware of the emotional, financial, and physical toll this can take.

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Here, we’ve provided you with a guide on how to navigate life as a spousal caregiver.

Make Your House Accessible

Allow your spouse to easily access all the rooms of your house. This way, they’ll feel more content and comfortable in their own home. Plus, it’ll make them more independent and less reliant on you for help with certain tasks.

Can your spouse not make it upstairs due to their condition? Install a staircase lift that allows wheelchair users to go up the stairs safely and efficiently. Check out these staircase lifts recommended by Jameson medical.

Consider these other home alterations that will make life easier for you and your spouse:

  • Wheelchair ramps
  • Lower kitchen cabinets
  • Accessible bathtub or shower
  • Handrails in the bathroom


 Compartmentalize your roles as wife and caregiver. Set aside certain times of the day where you and your spouse can only discuss nonmedical topics. This increases emotional intimacy and takes away the stress of being a constant caregiver.

Adjust Your Relationship Accordingly

All great marriages thrive on equality. In an ideal situation, each spouse gives and takes the same amount, whether that be in terms of chores, affection, or conversation. This balance fosters respect for one another. However, it can be compromised if one spouse has a debilitating disability or illness.

Facilitate a balanced dynamic in a way that works for your particular relationship. Split up housework by asking your spouse to perform simple chores, like folding clothes or setting the table. Recognize their physical limitations and don’t hold grudges if you have to do the grocery shopping or lawn mowing.

Ensure that you are both being heard. Take care to communicate with your spouse by listening as much, if not more than, you speak.

Don’t flaunt your role as a caregiver and disempower your spouse in the process. Make them feel like a valuable component of your relationship and household.

Focus on the Positive

Amid doctor’s appointments, physical therapy sessions, and the distribution of medications, your lives can become focused on your spouse’s illness or disability.

Shine light on the positive aspects of your life. In this difficult time, you both can rely on each other and gain a sense of heightened trust in one another.

Make Time for Yourself

 Caregiver burnout can happen to you, even though you are caring for the love of your life. Be sure to place your needs and your partner’s needs on the same level. You can do this by:

  • Being aware of your health.
  • Attending your medical appointments.
  • Eating healthily.
  • Spending time with friends.
  • Getting an adequate amount of sleep.
  • Asking for help if needed.

Most importantly, take care of your physical and mental health. This ensures that you can be there for your partner without feeling resentment towards them.


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How to Navigate Life as a Spousal Caregiver