Caring for an ailing spouse or relative can lead to a deeper relationship between the caregiver and recipient. However, it can also be physically and emotionally stressful.
The Deckerts' of Tea, South Dakota lean on each other as they take care of a loved one with a chronic disease.
"All those people (living with a chronic disease) have someone involved on the other side that nobody really realize is out there (taking care of the household),"said Mike Deckert.
For Mike who was first diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 10 years ago, its wife Beth. But the demands of being a round the clock caregiver were starting to take its toll on this Nurse Manager in Acute Dialysis at Avera McKennan.
"When I started to shift my focus to what I need so that I can do things for Mike, and so I can do things for my kids and for my job,"Beth said. "It made a huge impact. it changed my perspective on what the disease was doing to our family unit"
In order to understand what she was going through, Beth started journaling. You can read about her experience in her book. "Take Care: Taking Care Of Yourself While Taking Care of Another." In it she encourages those who take care of sick loved ones.
"You have to learn how to ask other people for help. I've also had to ask Mike what he needs, "Beth added. "Instead of assuming what he needs."
Mike said he's gained a better appreciation of caregivers unique challenges.
"My wife and my family, they do inspire me to keep going," he said.