Caring for an elderly, ailing spouse is an unimaginably difficult task, especially when the caregivers are elderly themselves. Many studies have found to have established that wives fare worse, physically and emotionally, than husbands.
Women tend to marry men older than themselves, and men generally have more health problems and shorter lives. So it’s typically the woman taking care of the man.
In our social gerontology practice past 18 years, we have been able to follow hundreds of spousal pairs in which one cared for the other until he or she died, we have a fuller picture — and it’s not happy news for women.
Currently millions of people across the country provide free caregiving services for a chronically ill, disabled or aged spouse, family member or friend during any given year.
There is a much higher likelihood of receiving care from a spouse than from an adult child because in majority of instances, children live separately. In reality, approximately one quarter or above (27percent, from our study of 800 sample) of caregivers who are currently caring for a spouse are themselves over the age of 65.
Spouses are often not the best direct caregivers and this the point I want to highlight. The main advice I have for people who run into this problem is to roll with it. And seek outside help.