Caring for disabled children: how do you keep your intimate relationship strong?

Caring for one or more children with a disability is rewarding - a labour of love and of course part of the job of being a parent - but is also hard work! So often finite amounts of energy, time and money are stretched so far that parents 'triage' their resources according to where the need for them is most urgent. A typical scenario may look something like this:- one parent is the primary caregiver and prioritizes 1. the disabled child 2. other children then are attended to and at times put first 3. running the household.

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Chronic Illness and Relationships - navigating the partner/carer balance

When a partner or spouse is ill, we naturally expect to take care of them, pamper them, look after them. We tolerate their vulnerability and dependence, and wait for the illness to heal, so that we can restore a healthy balance of 'looking after' and 'being looked after' in our relationship. This balance can become permanently skewed, though, when someone is living with chronic illness or a disability. Power dynamics change - where once a partner was equal in terms of contributing household income, parenting, housework and household maintenence, they are perhaps not longer able to do so.

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Families, chronic illness and disability

This is Carers Week - spare a thought for those thousands of unsung heroes in our society who provide practical and emotional support to loved ones who have a chronic illness or disability. They might be caring for a parent who is frail and aged, or for a child with an intellectual disability. It takes a community to support these families, as well as professional services and resources.

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