How to Be a Romantic as a Stroke Caregiver

Posted by Joe on 3/18/2015 to Caregiver Issues
If your partner has had a stroke, it can take a toll on marriage. This is especially the case if both of you get caught up in the roles of caregiver and patient.



Here are some simple tips to put romance back into your marriage:

#1 Take Good Care of You

You will not provide good care for your partner if you are mentally and physically wiped out. According to Dr. Sara Palmer, a rehabilitation psychologist and assistant professor at John Hopkins University Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, you should take some time off for filling your own needs every few days.

She noted recently that a romantic relationship benefits from positive changes in either partner. So, taking care of yourself will help your spouse recover from her stroke, and will improve the health of the relationship.

#2 Don't Always Think Like a Caregiver

Good marriages have plenty of give and take, as well as interdependence. After your partner's stroke, the scale often will tip more towards you. This can leave the caregiver feeling overwhelmed and the other feeling somewhat useless. These negative feelings make it hard to feel close to one another.

Try to build an environment that tips those scales back the other way. Encourage her to be as independent as she can be. Try to get her to practice dressing herself, and give her small chores that she can handle, such as setting the table for dinner.

#3 Find Shared Interests

You might not be able to enjoy the same activities together as before her stroke, so you will need to find new hobbies and activities that you can share.

Palmer states that social, leisure, recreational and romantic activities are what holds a good marriage together. If you are able to keep those parts of your marriage going during your partner's stroke rehabilitation, the relationship is less likely to become so one sided.

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