According to a new study from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, seniors work hard to keep their marriages alive and well, even after one spouse falls ill and goes into a long-term care facility.
Community-dwelling spouses were greatly drawn in the lives of their partners who are inside the institution, and that a lot of the couples remained active together may it be inside or outside the nursing home Researcher Robin Stadnyk was surprised to discover about this.
Stadnyk is a post-doctoral researcher in the University of Alberta’s Department of Human Ecology. She reviewed data from a qualitative study of 52 community-dwelling spouses in three Canadian provinces: Alberta, Manitoba and Nova Scotia, for her PhD research. According to her research, the participants were heavily involved in their spouses’ lives, not only through caretaking duties like doing laundry and helping with personal hygiene, but also through nurturing activities that brought them closer together.
“Most participants described close relationships with their spouses before the placement in a long-term care home. They simply found ways they could continue that closeness within the institutional walls,” Stadnyk noted. Marriage-sustaining activities included watching TV together, studying travel brochures and reviewing diaries to relive old memories, even taki...