Adapting Loving Relationships During Health Challenges

Most people over age 65 are living with at least one chronic illness. While some of the most common of these, such as high blood pressure or arthritis, are not necessarily life threatening, they can still put a crimp in one’s love life. Sometimes the spouse of the person who is ill assumes the caregiver role, which can cause a big change in the couple’s dynamic.

The good news is that with a little patience and understanding, you can still enjoy romance and continue building a loving relationship, even in the midst of health challenges.

Be willing to be completely honest about your feelings
Communication is key to every successful relationship, and it becomes even more important when a chronic illness is part of the package. It’s important to be willing to share your emotions about the changes that are happening in the relationship. If physical touch is no longer comfortable for you or your loved one, discuss other ways to practice intimacy and ensure each partner’s needs are being met. Try light caresses on the hands and feet. Take advantage of time when pain is at a minimum. Sharing one’s feelings with another person is in itself an act of intimacy, and can help your connection grow even at this difficult time.

Reminisce about the good times
When the going gets tough, take some time to remember some of the good times you’ve shared. Discuss with each other what made you fall in love in the first place. Creating “feel good” moments will help ease both the physical pain and the emotional stress associated with it. Remind yourself that it’s never too late to continue creating memories together.

Get help
Ask friends and family members to provide some assistance with daily chores that may now be too difficult to manage alone. At LifeSource, we serve people throughout the Baton Rouge area with comprehensive and compassionate care that provides the foundation for ongoing health and well-being. Getting help with the daily activities of living can allow you and your loved one concentrate on each other and create special time that will enhance your ability to be romantic.

Take care of yourself
For the caregiver, it’s important to take some “alone time” and treat yourself to a favorite hobby or pastime, whether that’s going out for coffee with a good friend or taking some time to read a book or watch TV. This is another opportunity to allow LifeSource Home Health to help you through.

Practice gratitude
This is always a challenge when you’re faced with the pain and sorrow of a chronic illness. But it’s important to celebrate the good things in life. For instance, if you have a day with less pain than the day before, celebrate and allow yourself to be happy. If you’re able to still smile at a grandchild’s laugh or a spouse’s loving glance, give thanks! The more time you spend in gratitude, the less time you’ll spend in pain and regret.

Source: IlluminAge AgeWise

Categories: Caregiving, Home health