A Senior’s Guide to Supporting a Partner Through a Health Issue

A Senior’s Guide to Supporting a Partner Through a Health Issue
Image by Josep Monter Martinez from Pixabay

When you used to imagine growing older together, you likely thought of relaxing days at home, family days out, and fun vacations. While all this can still be part of the aging process, you might have experienced changes to your and your partner’s lives that may have altered your vision for the future.

For instance, if your other half has been diagnosed with a health issue, you might wonder how you can support them as well as yourself as you age. Yet, you can take various actions to ensure you both live happy and healthier lives in your golden years. Read this senior’s guide to supporting a partner through a health issue.

Learn About Their Condition

The more you know about your partner’s chronic health condition, the more you can support their evolving needs. Set time aside to learn as many details as possible about its symptoms, treatment options, and available support. By doing so, you can effectively care for your spouse’s needs and become their advocate when talking to a doctor, nurse, or medical team.

Attend Medical Appointments Together

Rather than waiting for your spouse in a waiting room, attend medical appointments together if they’re happy for you to do so. Another set of ears will avoid confusion and even result in you asking important questions your partner might not have thought to ask (particularly when taking in difficult news). Also, write down a list of questions and worries to ask a doctor to make good use of their limited time.

Review Your Home Life

If your partner is living with a progressive condition, such as dementia or Parkinson’s disease, you may need to make changes to both your lifestyles to support their health and happiness as it reaches moderate and advanced stages. 

For instance, as much as it might pain you to say goodbye to your home, independent living in Houston, TX might be the best option for you both. It will allow you and your partner to stay together while ensuring your other half receives the care they need. If one or both of you need more support, a licensed nurse and well-trained staff can adapt to your needs to protect your health, happiness, and dignity.

Accept Offers of Help

You might believe it is your responsibility to care for your partner’s every need when they are unwell, but it isn’t. If you want to help your spouse navigate a health condition, you should embrace support and take a break when needed. By doing so, you will experience less stress and feel more motivated to manage any symptoms. 

If your children, friends, or relatives offer to cook meals, clean your home, or run errands, accept their offers. It will ensure you feel more supported, could prevent exhaustion, and may stop you from feeling overwhelmed. There is no shame in admitting you need help along the way, and your other half will likely be more than happy for you to take a break to protect your health and happiness.

About the author

Steven Ly

Steven Ly is the Startup Program and Events Manager at TheNextHint Inc. She recruits rockstar startups for all TC events including Disrupt, meetups, Sessions, and more both domestically and internationally. Previously, she helped produce Dreamforce with Salesforce and Next '17 with Google. Prior to that, she was on the advertising teams at both Facebook and AdRoll, helping support advertisers in North America and helped grow those brands globally. Outside of work, Steven enjoys Flywheel, tacos, the 49ers, and adventuring around the globe.

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