Lisa has been living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) for over five years. She and her partner, Michael, just celebrated 20 years together. Each have children from their previous relationships, and both are still working part-time. As Lisa’s symptoms worsen, she requires more assistance. Michael is struggling to balance the demands of being a partner and caregiver to Lisa.
Michael is finding himself feeling sad about the debilitating effect MS is having on Lisa. It’s hard to watch the person he loves no longer able to be the person she once was, and he feels guilty for feeling like he’s losing the partner he once had. Michael is also physically more tired. He’s not sleeping well and his morning exercise routine is being impacted. Both Michael and Lisa are finding themselves socially isolated. They were involved in several community programs and had a healthy social network. Now, they are struggling to figure out a new “normal” for themselves.
Here are a few strategies from spousal caregivers: