Tips for Caring for Your Spouse When They Cannot Care For Themselves

Vicky Pitner   -  

No one knows what the future holds when you commit to someone “until death do us part.” Drastic changes in one partner’s health can shift plans for a happy and active retirement together, to anxiety, fear, and confusion for both people. Below are a few ideas that may be helpful in keeping the “spark” alive in the relationship while providing daily care.

  • Enjoy music together. Reminiscing the time the song became important can be an emotional connection and bring shared moments of joy.
  • Dance! Even if your partner can no longer walk, take hands and swing to the music. Do this daily!
  • Do something you like together. For instance, rather than just giving ice cream to your partner, sit down, take a break and have a bowl together. Recall the ice cream memories you shared.
  • Dress up and have a romantic meal together. This takes a little more energy, but the experience will be worth it.
  • Create morning and evening rituals. It may include a hand massage, devotion, or prayer.
  • Read to your partner. Offering an opportunity to enjoy a book together can be rewarding. Even if your partner may not remember the book, or be able to respond, the sound of your voice for an extended amount of time can be comforting.
  • Start a gratitude journal. Research shows that grateful individuals experience increased positive emotions, are more satisfied with life, and are more likely to be forgiving.
  • Watch funny shows together. Regardless of how much your partner may be able to follow the plot, you can enjoy a good laugh.
  • Make intentional time to sit and hold hands. This will be comforting to both of you.

“Be completely humble and gentle, be patient, bearing with one another in love.” –Ephesians 4:2