Call 888-741-5172 for Home Instead Senior Care services in your area.
Sharing is Caring:

Signs that Spousal Caregiving May Be Becoming Too Risky for You

Spousal caregiving may becoming risky
All caregivers who experience elevated levels of stress are at an increased risk for physical and emotional issues.

Find home care near you or your loved one:

April 11, 2010

"Will you still need me,
will you still feed me,
when I'm sixty-four."
The Beatles, "When I'm 64"

Times have certainly changed since Lennon and McCartney penned and sang those words in 1967. Medical and healthcare strides are allowing people to live well into their 70's and 80's. Despite those health advances, the fact remains that caring for a spouse in need, regardless of their age, is very demanding, stressful and could threaten your own health.

The Journal of American Medical Association reports that if you are a spousal caregiver between the ages of 66 and 96, and are experiencing ongoing mental or emotional strain as a result of your caregiving duties, there's a 63% increased risk of dying over those people in the same age group who are not caring for a spouse.

As a caregiving spouse, you may begin to feel very isolated from friends and feel tremendous guilt about your own unmet needs. There can also be a sense of loss, especially if your spouse suffers from dementia or Alzheimer's disease.

So how do you know if caregiving is becoming too risky for you? Examine this list and see how many apply to you:

  • Missing or delaying your own doctor appointments
  • Ignoring your own health problems or symptoms
  • Not eating a healthy diet for lack of time
  • Overusing tobacco and alcohol when you feel stressed
  • Giving up exercise habits for lack of time
  • Losing sleep
  • Losing connections with friends for lack of time to socialize
  • Bottling up feelings of anger and frustration and then being surprised by angry, even violent, outbursts directed at your spouse, other family members, co-workers - even strangers
  • Feeling sad, down, depressed or hopeless
  • Loss of energy
  • Lacking interest in things that used to give you (and your spouse) pleasure
  • Feeling resentful toward your spouse
  • Blaming your spouse for the situation
  • Feeling that people ask more of you than they should
  • Feeling like caregiving has affected family relationships in a negative way
  • Feeling annoyed by other family members who don't help out or who criticize your care

All caregivers who experience elevated levels of stress are at an increased risk for physical and emotional issues.

Even if you are only experiencing two or three of these items, it is important to get help and support.

The truth is your spouse/partner will be in better hands if you are healthy.

Get helpful tips and articles like these delivered to your email.

Thoughts and stories from others
  1. November 26, 2017 at 1:32 am | Posted by Shay

    I’m 18 years old and I’m a caregiver to my husband who is 37 years old who is also in a wheelchair with muscular atrophy. I know exactly how you feel. I love him to pieces but the fianacial situation of his family is lingering on depressing and they expect me to keep the house up like a house wife when I’m a full time student studying at university. It’s incredibly difficult and has definitely taken blows to my self esteem. He always tries his best to be an amazing boyfriend but I do miss the days of being carefree and not having to think so much about somebody else. You need to focus on your own health, health is wealth. Fix the issue with your jaw and start going to the spa and getting your nails done and spoiling yourself rotten. Self love is the best love. Also practice mindfulness by meditating, it’ll bring your stress levels down. Good luck hun, things are going to get better. If they don’t you need to leave him for a more fulfilling relationship.

    Reply

  2. October 11, 2017 at 12:57 am | Posted by Donna

    I exceed every thing on this list thank God I found this I feel so alone . I don't even know where to start Im 26 my husband is 35 . He is in a wheelchair with muscular dystrophy. I have have a six year old son from a previous marriage. That I left after years of abuse. I have very little family.He has a large family. Im also disabled from a TBI but that doesn't matter much because I'm not him. His large family uses me for my money and for 24_7 care for him. I had to have jaw surgery I had to ride the bus because nobody would take me. I have no support. My jaw won't heal. I didn't even get to sleep after surgery I was cooking dinner I could not even eat and I" had to get off my lazy ass and do laundry because nobody here is my maid. If I wanted help with my son I should have never had him.'" but when I stand up for myself then I'm evil Donna who verbally abuses the poor little man in the wheelchair I feel so trapped and alone I'm so depressed im so lost . I don't know what to do anymore. Oh yeah did i mention he talked me into moving out of my house and living in a literal shed because we do I have to carry him outside and sponge bathe him in a makeshift tub his brother made from the hose..but it's not his fault it is all he could afford since I didn't buy him an apartment.. everything is my responsibility and everything is my fault I love him but I can't live like this forever.. I don't know how to make it better. I love him but he wants to live like this. I want to take care of him but this is ridiculous! It's killing me I had a massive infection in my jaw and I couldn't get him to take me to the hospital(he even screamed at me and kicked me out) and his mom refused to take me because I didn't have gas money luckily my grandparents took me and i didn't die.. but it's my in laws explained to me it's my ex husband's fault because he didn't give me gas money and the only reason all this upset s me is because I must want him back. Wtf? Right.. help me.. I'm in so much physical and emotional pain..

    Reply

  3. October 11, 2017 at 12:45 am | Posted by Donna

    I exceed every thing on this list thank God I found this I feel so alone . I don't even know where to start Im 26 my husband is 35 . He is in a wheelchair with muscular dystrophy. I have have a six year old son from a previous marriage. That I left after years of abuse. I have very little family.He has a large family. Im also disabled from a TBI but that doesn't matter much because I'm not him. His large family uses me for my money and for 24_7 care for him. I had to have jaw surgery I had to ride the bus because nobody would take me. I have no support. My jaw won't heal. I didn't even get to sleep after surgery I was cooking dinner I could not even eat and I" had to get off my lazy ass and do laundry because nobody here is my maid. If I wanted help with my son I should have never had him.'" but when I stand up for myself then I'm evil Donna who verbally abuses the poor little man in the wheelchair I feel so trapped and alone I'm so depressed im so lost . I don't know what to do anymore. Oh yeah did i mention he talked me into moving out of my house and living in a literal shed because we do I have to carry him outside and sponge bathe him in a makeshift tub his brother made from the hose..but it's not his fault it is all he could afford since I didn't buy him an apartment.. everything is my responsibility and everything is my fault I love him but I can't live like this forever.. I don't know how to make it better. I love him but he wants to live like this. I want to take care of him but this is ridiculous! It's killing me I had a massive infection in my jaw and I couldn't get him to take me to the hospital(he even screamed at me and kicked me out) and his mom refused to take me because I didn't have gas money luckily my grandparents took me and i didn't die.. but it's my in laws explained to me it's my ex husband's fault because he didn't give me gas money and the only reason all this upset s me is because I must want him back. Wtf? Right.. help me..

    Reply

Share your thoughts, stories and comments:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


http://www.caregiverstress.com/stress-management/signs-of-stress/signs-spousal-caregiving-too-risky/