Recently, The Huffington Post released an article, written by Dr. Bruce Margolis, detailing his relationship with his mother-in-law,who has been living with he and his wife for over 3o years. Dr. Margolis shares how living with her has been both a blessing and a challenge. Now that his mother-in-law is in her 90s, she is suffering many ailments and providing for her requires extra responsibility.
“As a widow in her mid 60s and living close by, it made perfect sense to the three of us to bring the two households together. For my mother-in-law, she no longer had to worry about caring for a house and being alone. For us, we had a built-in babysitter for our two young sons and someone who could run some errands as we were both building our careers. Though clearly more of a win for us at that time, my wife and I had no delusions that someday the tables of dependency would turn.”
While taking care of a parent can be very honorable, the responsibility can also entail a great deal of stress. Dr. Margolis provides a few tips for married couples taking care of elderly parents.
- Divide responsibilities: For example, my wife manages personal needs and doctor’s appointments; I manage medications and finances.
- Communicate: We take the time to discuss and assess how we are doing emotionally.
- Take a break: The occasional night out or weekend getaway keeps our lives in perspective.
Read Caring for an Elderly Parent: Stress and Reward to learn more.