Se­nior Care

...Is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly com­mon as we get older. Here's how to meet life's chal­lenges to­gether.

Health & Nutrition - - CONTENTS -

Mar­i­tal strife com­mon in old age

The TV is blar­ing. Telling your hus­band to turn the vol­ume down and get his hear­ing checked just sets off the same old ar­gu­ment. He knows his hear­ing is bad, but he doesn’t want to get a hear­ing aid. And, he says, he’d just as soon not hear your nag­ging any­way. Keep­ing a mar­riage happy can be hard work – no mat­ter how long you’ve been to­gether. Add the health is­sues that of­ten arise with age, and the chal­lenge is even greater. But what­ever the source of mar­i­tal con­flict, there are things you can do to put or keep your mar­riage on a pos­i­tive track.

Some Of Life's Hur­dle

Each stage of life can bring a unique set of stresses to a mar­riage. When you’re young, it can be blend­ing two peo­ple into a cou­ple, or es­tab­lish­ing ca­reers. Start­ing a fam­ily in­tro­duces a new set of

If adap­ta­tions are needed to im­prove your re­la­tion­ship, make them. Do­ing so may ne­ces­si­tate get­ting help along the way from fam­ily mem­bers and your fam­ily doc­tor.

con­sid­er­a­tions and chal­lenges that change as chil­dren grow. With age, health con­cerns can be sources of fric­tion. Prob­lems with hear­ing can make con­ver­sa­tions tan­gled and frus­trat­ing. Arthri­tis or stamina is­sues may keep one of you from walk­ing as fast as the other, lead­ing to ir­ri­ta­tion for both of you. Chronic pain, no mat­ter what the cause, can in­flu­ence how you in­ter­act and what you’re able to do to­gether. For some, mem­ory loss in­tro­duces a com­pletely dif­fer­ent dy­namic to the re­la­tion­ship. And men­tal health is­sues, such as de­pres­sion, can of­fer spe­cial chal­lenges. With these stresses, the first step in restor­ing har­mony is rec­og­niz­ing that a health is­sue is af­fect­ing how you and your spouse are get­ting along. Then, per­haps with the help of your doc­tor, you can do some­thing about it. Some­times, the so­lu­tions are straight­for­ward. For in­stance, hear­ing im­pair­ment may be helped with hear­ing aids and sim­ple mea­sures, such as speak­ing face to face. Mo­bil­ity is­sues may be solved by some­thing as sim­ple as us­ing a cane, walker or scooter, or they may re­quire more far-reach­ing so­lu­tions, such as mov­ing from a mul­ti­level home to a sin­gle-level home, or pos­si­bly a re­tire­ment com­mu­nity de­signed to ac­com­mo­date chang­ing mo­bil­ity needs.

When Prob­lem Run Deeper

Although health con­sid­er­a­tions with age can stress any mar­riage, the is­sues some­times run deeper and are long­stand­ing. If that’s the case, help may be nec­es­sary, and there are many re­sources avail­able. Some peo­ple pre­fer to seek help from lead­ers at their place of wor­ship. Oth­ers opt for mar­riage sup­port groups. On­go­ing mar­i­tal dif­fi­cul­ties may re­quire mar­i­tal ther­apy from a trained pro­fes­sional.

Adapt­ing As A Team

You’re com­mit­ted to the re­la­tion­ship. Clearly, you’ve made a choice to stick with your mar­riage. The ob­vi­ous con­clu­sion is that, for bet­ter in a deep and mean­ing­ful way. So if adap­ta­tions are needed to im­prove your re­la­tion­ship, make them. Do­ing so may ne­ces­si­tate get­ting help along the way from fam­ily mem­bers, friends, com­mu­nity re­sources and your fam­ily doc­tor. Why not do what it takes to make your mar­riage even bet­ter?

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