Monday, June 18, 2018

Caregiving Marriage Vows (Research, Video 1:25)

“In sickness and in health” is said lovingly at many weddings before the journey of marriage begins. Many couples living longer and taking care of spouses are living to be quite old while experiencing their own healthcare challenges. Caregiving a dying spouse for a lengthy period is a possibility for many who commit to fulfilling marriage vows. Because most caregiving research focuses on younger adults, it’s very important that the needs of the older generations are addressed.

This research on older adult caregivers included 17 interviews from participants aged 80 or over. Results indicated that they demonstrated high levels of resilience and adapted well to their caregiving roles. They accepted this as part of the marriage contract they made years ago. While they appreciated support from family and friends, their own needs for care were not always recognized by health and social care services organizations. Their illnesses and end-of-life challenges needed more positive interventions from healthcare professionals.

Lee and Tom McNally fell in love 13 years ago. Tom is a hospice patient now receiving chemotherapy. He informed the hospice chaplain that he and his girlfriend Lee wanted to get married. They both say they take the marriage vow of “in sickness and in health” very seriously.

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.

No comments:

Post a Comment