The relative unavailability of studies specifically addressing the issue of the impact on intimate relationships of Family Carers is worth noting. The majority of studies that have been undertaken often focus exclusively on the impacts of the disability on the relationship, rather than the impact of caring on the partner/spouse providing care, or on the partner/spouse of a Family Carer. Consequently, this paper is exploratory in nature, and is based on discussions with professionals and Family Carers.
Why is the issue of intimacy in relationships an important one? Given the other significant challenges facing Family Carers – which can include lack of respite from caring, significant waiting lists for therapies for those they care for, and the increased likelihood of experiencing financial difficulties (amongst others) – it may seem unusual to focus on the impact of caring on intimate and romantic relationships. However, given the importance of support for Family Carers, and given that for many their first line of support remains a spouse or partner, the topic requires addressing in some form.
Theme Health and well-being
Authors Care Alliance Ireland, Zoe Hughes