How We Cope – Being Care Partners for Each Other
Angela and I have been married for over 21 years. We consider our marriage to be a relationship of mutual care. We prefer the term “care partner” instead of “caregiver”. Since we both provide mutual care for one another, share life duties, watch out for one another, monitor each other’s health and well-being, keep the other active, energized, and motivated, we feel it is truly a partnership. This distinction reflects the important interaction and connection that we share as a couple.
We decided early on in our lives together to make this care partner commitment to each other. We felt it was important to address this early, before any incident prevented us from making this decision. We’ve always believed that we are team – united in work, life and home – and that this team had to have open and honest communication about all aspects of our lives.
While the distinction between a caregiver and a care partner may not seem significant, there is role differentiation. A care partner may rely on his or her spouse for assistance, and even though the spouse may have some reliance on the other, they still provide their much-needed talents or abilities to one another. Whether it is support, advice, comfort, humor, or some other skill that assists the partnership, the relations are more of a collaboration than a one-way arrangement.
We felt it was important to share our feelings about this differentiation, via this video. It is so vitally important for all those participating on your care team to understand how crucial communicating and discussing this issue of caring can be.
Do you participate in a support group for PD?