Choose to Love

The movie, Fireproof, leads a disastrous marriage down a triumphant path through a series of selfless acts, which are detailed in the spinoff book, The Love Dare. The husband’s father dares him to perform specific acts of love for a period of time rather than give up on his marriage, which appears to be doomed. The perspective being offered is that it only takes one person making small changes with a loving heart to improve a marriage dramatically. If spouses are focused on the faults of the other person, they miss the point.

Even if your marriage is not on thin ice like the couple’s in the movie, give some thought to whether or not you frequently keep score in your head, i.e. I did that nice thing, now it’s his turn. Or, I always plan vacations and don’t feel appreciated, so I’m not doing it anymore. I once had a friend who kept score of how many chores she and her husband each performed; they are now divorced.

When an unsatisfied store customer asks to see the manager, imagine if the manager argued back that the customer was wrong. The store would lose sales. But when the manager apologizes and meets or exceeds the customer’s expectations, the customer will likely maintain the relationship with the store. The next time your spouse issues a complaint, instead of becoming defensive, try to act like the manager and listen to your spouse to see if you can resolve the issue. And the next time you want to blurt out something nasty or critical to your spouse, think about whether you could say it in a nicer way-or hold your tongue.

Given how busy we all are with work, church, school, homes and children, it’s almost unfair that you are asked to make time to do even small, loving acts for your spouse. If your relationship is like most couples, its priority level has been pushed down a few notches. Realize that you are not just doing it for your spouse, but for yourself and your children, and as an investment in your future. I’ve found in my personal experience and in my interviews with successful couples, feelings follow actions. So, if you’re just not feeling the love today, do it anyway! Choose to behave lovingly, and your feelings will follow. Your spouse may take notice, but even if he or she doesn’t, choose loving actions anyway.

One of my interviewees (who has overcome an addiction and his wife’s life-threatening illness) says he realized it’s the small things that please his wife, like saying something nice in an e-mail. “It’s nothing extraordinary like leaving a trail of petals to the bedroom filled with a thousand candles. We let each other know we’re thinking of the other and that we really care,” he says.

Brainstorm 5 things you could do in less than 10 minutes. Then act on one thing. Do you believe one person can begin to change a marriage, or does it take two?

Lori Lowe is a writer and communications consultant from Indianapolis. She is currently writing a book profiling extraordinary marriages. Her blog encourages couples in their marriages and family relationships. Subscribe today to read a positive voice in your inbox.

Senior Homecare After Surgery: Choosing the Right Homecare Agency

Regardless of age, it simply takes time to recover from surgery. The amount of time, however, increases with age. While your loved one is recovering, you want the peace of mind of knowing she is receiving high-quality care from a licensed senior homecare agency. Whether it’s picking up medications, cooking, or assisting in the bathroom, senior homecare services ensure that your loved one is healthy as soon as possible.

If you know in advance that your loved one is going to have surgery, it’s best to setup your senior’s homecare with enough time to give the agency time to perform a needs assessment and make the necessary arrangements. Whether the senior homecare aide needs to pick your loved one up from the hospital or be at the home with the prescribed medications by a certain time, preparation always minimizes the stress that is natural with any surgical procedure.

Whether it’s hip surgery, knee surgery, plastic surgery, heart surgery, or any other type of surgery, a licensed senior homecare agency will provide reliable care to improve your senior loved one’s quality of life when she needs it most. One study by the Canadian Medical Association Journal even showed that seniors were 43% less likely to pass away in the three months after surgery when they received professional homecare.

Regardless of the type of surgery, common post-surgery senior homecare services include customized assistance with:

Personal care, such as bathing and dressing

Medication management, such as reminding the senior to take her medication at specific times

Range-of-motion exercises

Transportation to and from physical therapy, doctor’s appointments, and errands

Grocery shopping, cooking, and feeding

Making sure the home is safe and easy to navigate post-surgery

Changing ice bags or helping with durable medical equipment (DME), such as getting in and out of a wheelchair

Senior homecare services are never more critical than post-surgery when your loved one is in her most vulnerable and painful condition. That’s why it’s important to do your homework and hire an agency that is experienced at providing senior homecare for all types of post-surgical procedures.

When you interview a senior homecare agency to care for your loved one following a surgery, there are a few key questions you need to ask to make sure they are qualified:

Are they bonded and insured? Do they pay workers’ compensation insurance for their caregivers?

Do they perform criminal background checks on their caregivers? If so, how in-depth is the background check?

How do they hire, train, and review employees?

Do they have specific senior homecare experience following the same surgery as your loved one?

Will they provide you with a comprehensive, written plan of care?

Will they give you detailed references to check?

If your loved one is going to have surgery in the foreseeable future, now’s the time to schedule an assessment with a reputable senior homecare agency. Learn more about making the right decision by visiting or calling 877.422.2270.

Rhiannon Acree is the founder and president of Cambrian Homecare. From its Long Beach, California inception in 1996, Cambrian Homecare now serves four Southern California counties, employing outstanding caregivers that provide customized, flexible, non-medical homecare seven days a week. Visit or call 877.422.2270.