Caring for your sick or disabled spouse?
Caring for someone who has a disability can be difficult. It often carries its own heavy burdens: physical exhaustion, overwhelming emotions, sentiments of guilt, depression, fear, injustice, sadness, and even anger. Here are seven steps you can take that will help you take care of your partner and take care of yourself.
Lose the guilt
It is important to understand that a sense of guilt can arise when first confronting this situation. Feeling guilty for having no disabilities or for having a fun or good time whilst your spouse can’t join you may also be present. Feeling guilty for being angry at your partner due to the loss of life, relationship and intimacy can also occur. If your partner realises the guilt that you are experiencing, they will also conjure up a large amount of guilt for placing this, what they would see, as a burden onto you. Open communication between you and your partner or spouse about how you are feeling and the emotions that you are experiencing may help the letting go of this guilt. It is important to, when having this conversation or conversations not to blame yourself or your partner or cultivate guilt
Home Care Services
If you are able to, getting a professional nurse either full time or part time is recommended. This will allow you to focus on your mental health. If your spouse or partner is comfortable, having another person complete the tasks that are personally invasive may save you and your partner a large amount of emotional discomfort. If you aren’t able to get a nurse, be it due to financial reasons or otherwise, consider receiving help from family and friends.
Address your emotions
Feelings of not wanting to care for your partner anymore, however how much you might love them are valid. It is important to address these feelings. It is also important to understand that your health, schedule and your life situation may heightened these feelings. Reaching out to counsellors and support groups may be beneficial to you and your mental health. If you already have a counsellor or therapist, they may be able to share some tips to helping you get through this tough time.
Laughter is the best medicine. In this difficult time it may feel like you will never smile let alone laugh again. It is important to make room for laughter. Some methods include watching funny videos online, comedies or even just hanging out with some friends. You and your entire family will benefit from your laughter and positive energy.
It is imperative that you keep an eye on your physical, mental and emotional health. When a plane is in peril, the instructions are always to put on your oxygen mask first and then to help the person next to you. Similarly, if you are not able to maintain proper physical, mental and emotional health, your spouse or partner will too suffer. It is important to eat well, get rest and stay active. Speak with your GP if you are feeling chronic illness or depression.
Make a schedule
Having a schedule may help with your mental health. It is important to allocate time for you and you only or with your partner. Routines keep stress to a minimum and a balance is great for both you and your significant other.
Love and expression of love between you and your significant other is an important part of your relationship and being able to step into the next chapter of your life together. It is important to have some quality time together where you both do not have to worry about any caretaker activities. Going to the movies, park, to a restaurant or even stay home and snuggle up together on the couch.
Here were some steps I thought could help you care for your disabled partner or spouse. This time is a challenging one for you, your partner and your other loved ones. I wish you, your partner or spouse and your loved ones all the best for the future.
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