Today is actually National Father-In-Law Day. Do you have father-in-law that you love? Are you currently caring for one of your parents-in-law? Helping to care for the person or persons who raised your spouse, welcomed you into their family and have been a wonderful grandparents can be the perfect way to give back and help. But sometimes conflicts can arise from helping those outside of your immediate family.
Oftentimes, a married couple will be a team, helping to take care of one or another’s parents. But depending on careers, personalities and traditional roles, the wife can be the one more likely to end up caring for her husband’s parents. And that in turn can lead to resentment. What can be done to help with couples make the best of these situations?
All caregivers should know that some people take to caregiving better than others. Caregiving is not for everyone. Each spouse needs to be aware of this and try to determine if they are capable of providing care for an elderly parent. If they discover that the work is more than hard (all caregivers, even if they love their role, find the work hard) but is making them miserable for a variety of reasons, they need to have an open discussion about that with their spouse, and the other spouse needs to respect their feelings on providing care.
If one spouse is determined to be able to care better for the elderly parents, and agrees to do so, the other spouse needs to be extremely supportive to them. Keep this mantra in mind: If you can’t BE a caregiver, SUPPORT a caregiver.