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Published: Sep 24th, 2019

Being a Caregiver for Parent Can Lead to Spousal Resentment

Being a Caregiver for Parent Can Lead to Spousal Resentment
Article Updated:November 2nd, 2019

Having a long-term happy marriage is often hard work. Typically you raise children, grow in your careers, and face the many challenges all relationships must deal with in life. However, when one spouse must add the role of being a caregiver to a parent or other elder family member the impact on the spousal relationship can be very difficult.

Without an Advance Plan the Family Must Deal with Long-Term Care

Many elders today do not have Long-Term Care Insurance. Those who do have a policy benefit greatly. According to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance the major insurance companies paid over $10.3 Billion in benefits to American families.

Without an LTC policy an extended care event can create a crisis. This means their long-term care services must be provided by family members or care services would be paid for through their savings. Sometimes both. Caregiving is difficult and stressful on its own. What many people fail to consider is the impact on the caregiver’s family which includes their spouse and their children.

Sibling Strife 

Generally, only one child becomes the caregiver. Other siblings either don’t live nearby or have any interest or ability to provide care based on their careers, health, and family situation. This leads to sibling strife. But what happens to the one person to ends up with the responsibility of taking care of Mom or Dad?

They must make sacrifices. This includes their careers. This includes their relationship with their own children. What about their spouse?

Spouses of Caregivers Feel the Strain as Well

The couple’s life changes overnight. The financial situation can change. Simple things like vacations, or just eating out for dinner become compromised. This places the other spouse with all the family responsibility since the caregiver’s hands are full. 

Carol Bradley Bursack is an author and veteran caregiver. She addresses this concern in her Dear Candid Caregiver column in HealthCentral. She answers an email from a caregiver wife who says she doesn’t want their marriage to deteriorate but the caregiving situation is causing serious stress on both of them. Read her response by clicking here.

Have You Prepared Your Family and Finances for the Impact of Your Future Care?

How would your family deal with your future need for long-term care services? The time to address the financial costs and burdens of aging is before you retire. The easy and affordable solution or many American families is Long-Term Care Insurance. 

These policies provide the resources for your choice of quality care options in the setting you desire. This way you have the financial resources to pay for the care without draining assets and adversely impacting your income and lifestyle. 

Give Family Time to be Family

However, it is more than just about money. A Long-Term Care Insurance policy is a plan which helps your family have the time to be family and not have to deal with the responsibility of being a caregiver or even managing paid caregivers.

Most policies include case managers. These are professionally training nurses or social works who help the family at the time of claim. They typically help develop a plan of care based on the desired on the individual and their family. They help find the appropriate caregivers or facilities which fit the needs and desire of the family. 

Many adult children note that with a policy in place the entire family has the time to just be family. It reduces the stress and resentment between spouses and siblings. It also protects the health and financial well-being of the children who would otherwise be impacted if they had to step into a caregiving role as is often the case with no advance planning.