Becoming a caregiver for your partner is rarely included in our future hopes, but this is a current reality for more than 6.36 million adults in the U.S. If you are currently caregiving for your partner, you are not alone. While every caregiving situation is different, this role change can flip a relationship dynamic upside down.
The good news is that intentionally building small moments of connection into the caregiving routine can nurture an emotional bond that can be as refreshing for you, the caregiver, as it is for your loved one.
Practical Tips for Staying Connected with Your Partner
Person Over Patient – Your loved one’s needs can make it easy to become so focused on providing care that small moments of connection can be overlooked. Remember, this is the person you feel in love with. Let’s try to shift focus from what they need, to who they are and what they mean to you.
Learn More About the Ailment – Learning more about your loved one’s condition can help you better understand the impact it has on their physical, mental and emotional well-being. This can reduce stress by helping you have reasonable expectations for your loved one’s condition and the interactions you share.
Redefine Intimacy – Efforts such as such listening to music together or holding hands can make a special, intentional moment of connection between partners. If possible, try to let clinical needs take a back seat for a short time in an effort to build your human connection with one another.
Communicate with Your Entire Body – Keeping word choice simple and being expressive with body language can help you and your loved one overcome new communication obstacles that may arise as a disease progresses.
Remember Your Value – As a partner, you have great value and are able to provide your loved one with emotional support and companionship like no other. When possible, accept help from others so that you can step out of your caregiving role from time to time. This break, even if brief, will allow you to better tap into the power of the role that only you possess for your loved one.
Adapted from Forbes Media, https://www.forbes.com/health/healthy-aging/caregiver-relationship-challenges/. Visit the link for more valuable tips.