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Maintaining Emotional Intimacy
When Your Loved One Is Ill

(Page 2 of 2)

Affection 

Emotional intimacy can be maintained through the simplest of physical gestures. A kiss on the cheek or forehead, coupled with a warm smile, a back rub, brushing the patients hair or just saying “I love you.” 

In an intimate relationship, both parties have to maintain a balance between closeness and separateness. This allows people to maintain their individuality and a sense of intimacy. The caregiver and patient can sustain a quality of intimacy similar to what they had prior to the illness. Having a healthy respect for the situation “the other finds themselves in” is crucial to all relationships! 

As the caregiver, you have emotional needs that your loved one cannot always meet due to their illness. You need to recognize that having your own needs does not take away from the wonderful relationship you have had or may still have with your loved one. They are a sign of your own “humanness.” Caregivers need to maintain a network of outside support by keeping relationships with family members and friends who can provide the acknowledgement, attention and affection that is still needed and well deserved. Taking care of these emotional needs will allow you to be focused on your loved one with a relaxed, positive, loving attitude.

 

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