5 Ways to Maintain a Relationship When Your Spouse is in Personal Care
10 Oct 2017
On many occasions a spouse is widowed when the time comes for him or her to move into a personal care facility. In other instances a married couple will choose to move into an independent living apartment together. However, there are some scenarios in which a married couple needs to be separates, as one spouse moves into a personal care facility while the other spouse continues to live at home.
When you live separate from your spouse, it can be very challenging to maintain a normal relationship and you may feel helpless as to what you can do to still feel connected. Visiting every hour of every day is not feasible and can be extremely taxing on a spouse. Instead, we have several suggestions for how you can maintain a relationships when your spouse is in personal care. Whether it’s short-term or long-term, we hope your relationship can benefit from this advice!
Make your visits meaningful with planned activities
Especially if you visit daily, you’ll want to make your visits meaningful and memorable by planning specific activities to do together. Play your favorite game, watch a movie, go for a walk or have a coffee date. Rather than coming to visit and just sitting in silence, plan something that will speak conversation!
Go old fashioned, write letters!
It sounds simple, but this can have such a huge impact on your relationship. Write love letters to one another again. Chronicle your time away from your loved one like a journal. Let them know what’s going on at home or with family. Even though you will see each other in person often, the letters will arrive in the mail, giving them something to look forward to while you are away.
Schedule your visits, and your time away
As much as it’s important to frequently spend time together, it is just as important to spend time independently. A married couple who still lives together needs the same time! Don’t feel obligated to spend every waking hour visiting your spouse in personal care, rather communicate your visiting schedule so both of you are on the same page and no one is feeling forgotten.
When you visit, bring photo albums, old movies or your phone or tablet to share photos of family and friends on social media. Talk about what’s going on in their lives now or relive old memories and share a few laughs. Talking about all your memories together will make you feel closer and also help stimulate mental alertness. All around reminiscing is a good idea!
If possible, spend time outside personal care
If it’s physically possible for your loved one to join you on a walk or a short excursion to a local restaurant, treat them to a date away from the personal care facility. Going to a new space together will give you the opportunity to share a new memory and break out of any old routines that may have grown stagnant. Plus, it will be a lot more fun for you both rather than sitting in the same environment day after day!
Do you or someone you know have a loved one living in a personal care facility or retirement community without their spouse? What do they do to maintain their relationship? Share your ideas by leaving a comment below!