Online Buzz: Spousal Family Caregivers

For many couples, the "in sickness and in health" marriage vow plays out later in life with one of the spouses caring for the other. Perhaps an older spouse faces a chronic medical condition like Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease or is recovering from a stroke or undergoing cancer treatment. Whenever an elderly husband or wife takes on a greater care role for the other spouse, a number of physical, emotional and financial challenges can occur.

Studies have shown that the health of spousal caregivers is at risk when caring for their partner. The stress of caregiving increases the occurrence of depression and anxiety and lowers the immune system. A 2005 health insurance study found that caregivers of all ages exhibited chronic health conditions, including diabetes, cancer and heart disease, nearly twice as often as non-caregivers (45 percent vs. 24 percent).

Older caregiving spouses are often hesitant to let adult children or others help because they don't want their children to see their parent in a diminished state, or they hope to protect their partner's dignity. But to ensure the well-being of both older spouses, it is important to recognize caregiving obstacles upfront and enlist adequate help throughout the caregiving process.

Learn about resources that can provide support for spousal family caregivers on the Right at Home blog, where you will always find the latest information about family caregiving and home care.


For information on topics related to home care and healthcare, visit our Home Care and Healthcare Advocacy group on LinkedIn.

Right at Home, Inc. is a national organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for those we serve. We fulfill that mission through a dedicated network of locally owned providers of in home care services.