“Relationships are tough enough, and sometimes it’s very hard to be the caregiver and the lover.”
“We always think of the significant other to be the caregiver,” says Diane Rowles, a nurse practitioner from the Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. It’s important for a significant other to know the care in case a caregiver doesn’t show up or other situations. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the significant other has to be the primary caregiver.
She works with her patients and their partners to understand what’s best for them as individuals and together. If it’s going to be a big challenge to manage both roles, she recommends finding someone else to help to do the care. “A lot of that is going to depend on finances, it’s going to depend on availability,” she says, “but generally you can find someone else to do the care. For some couples, the money spent to have someone come to do showers and bowel routine is money well spent. For other couples, they prefer to save the money and manage the care themselves. “It really comes down to the partner set,” she says.
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