Learning that your partner is suffering from a serious health condition is heartbreaking and difficult to accept on its own, but understanding that you will have to become their caregiver is an additional blow that can leave you feeling completely lost. Still, you surely understand that they will need your support now more than ever, and in new and unexpected ways, too. Finding yourself in such a challenging situation may make you feel helpless, but there are certain things you can do to support your spouse, no matter what their condition may be. Here are 5 ways you can help your spouse through a health challenge.
1. Learn About Your Partner’s Condition
Certain conditions require lifestyle and diet changes or come with symptoms you might not be aware of, and one of the best ways to be prepared for these challenges is to educate yourself about your spouse’s health condition. Apart from being more helpful at meeting your partner’s new needs, you will also feel calmer and more in control of the situation if you know what’s going on with your loved one.
2. Spend Time and Listen To Your Spouse
Try to let your spouse know you have their back and express your love. But even if you’re not the consoling type and have no idea what to say, you can express your readiness to help and support your loved one by listening and spending time with them. If their health allows, do things together both of you enjoy, even if it’s just watching a film together or spending time with the family. Chances are, both of you will cherish and gain a newfound appreciation of these seemingly ordinary family moments.
3. Learn to Accept Help From Others
A significant percentage of new caregivers find it difficult to accept help and burn out very quickly being unable to combine the endless doctor’s visits with their work or personal life. Some people can even bluntly refuse help from their family and friends and take too much responsibility on their shoulders. Adjusting to a new lifestyle will take a toll on your energy levels and you have to be careful not to overestimate yourself.
Be ready to accept the extra help you deserve, be it from eager family members or home services provided by your health insurance plan. In the end, by doing so, you’ll have more time to spend on your spouse and get the chance to bond with your family during this challenging time.
4. Don’t Be Too Controlling
It’s definitely a good thing that you’re interested in your spouse’s health and determined in making them the healthiest they can be, but a sudden change of roles in the relationship can become a source of conflict. You might try to implement the changes in diet and lifestyle too eagerly, which can leave your spouse feeling irritated and disagreeable.
If this happens, don’t start arguing you know best what’s good for your partner. Instead, recruit their doctor to help you find what changes are the most crucial for your spouse’s health. This way it’s not you who is making them stay in bed, not letting them eat certain things or whatnot, but rather a qualified professional who said it’s mandatory for their health.
5. Visit Appointments Together
It's no secret that doctor’s appointments and medical procedures are some of the least pleasant things in life. Apart from being stressful, they often tire out the patient, and certain procedures can make your spouse feel dizzy or drowsy. This is why they need your help at the doctor’s office, as you have to be the one who asks the majority of questions and double checks their appointments and medication plan are in order.
On top of that, you will be able to provide emotional support to your loved one and get a chance to receive first-hand information about your partner’s condition, progress, and limitations.