Caregiving for a Spouse

According to AARP and a National Alliance for Caregiving study in 2015, about one in ten caregivers cares for a spouse. It can be challenging at times caring for a spouse, I am a caregiver for my husband. We have just celebrated his 2nd year anniversary as a lung transplant candidate. When people tell him how “lucky” he is to have a wife as a nurse he often will say “no comment”. It is not easy caring for a spouse as a professional caregiver in the healthcare system and a family caregiver for a spouse. I often smile to myself when a patient is so grateful and receptive to information that I provide them, and when I offer my husband the same information, he appears to totally ignore me. However, I know that he is listening when he says, “the doctor said so and so and I told him that my wife told me the same thing”.



There were times that I wished I was not a nurse and I wished I did not know so much. For example, when my husband was in the ICU for two months after his lung transplant, I saw myself overthinking and overreacting. On the other hand, because I knew a little more than an average person, I was grateful to be able to advocate for my husband as well as for other caregivers.


As a caregiver for a spouse, I had to consciously attempt to keep things in perspective. Yes, I am a nurse, but I am also a wife. Sometimes I find myself wearing the “hat” of a nurse a little too often. Oftentimes, I have to remind myself to put on the “hat” of wife, friend, supporter and lover. I understand that it is not easy seeing the person that you love go through so much pain and suffering however they need to know and feel that they are loved. Sure, one may say “well it is obvious that I love my spouse, I cook, clean, assist them with bathing, help them to get dressed, prepare meals and attend all their doctors’ appointments”.


What brings two people together to become a couple is not generally tragedy or drudgery but having fun. Therefore, it is vital that you figure out what you both enjoy together in your present circumstances; however, this may take a little planning. Let’s not forget the healing power of a touch, a smile, kind words, a listening ear and the act of caring. Are you a caregiver for a spouse? What are some of the challenges you face? Give us a call at 718-379-3159 or email us at Info@comeoutreach.org.


Did you miss our first Monthly “Let’s Talk” ,Caregivers 101, Informational Support Sessions? Do not forget to register for our upcoming 45min session on February 17, 2021 at 7pm. Topic Medicaid: What you know and do not know about the Medicaid changes. Presented by Alyssa Monteleone, Elder Law Attorney. Please register online at www.comeoutreach.org or call 718-379-3159 and leave your name and number.


Diane Cooper


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