Looking on the Inside: Disabled Partners
Ask the partner of any disabled person whether or not they mind all the hard work that it takes to care for their loved one, and there will always be a resounding “no.” There is something to be said about people with the ability to see through their partner’s limitations, seeing only the soul inside. Movies like Me Before You romanticize these relationships. But although partners of disabled persons are fully committed to the task at hand, it is a very demanding lifestyle.
Getting a disabled person from place to place is no easy task. There are wheelchairs and other mobility devices to carry, prescription medications to bring, and a lot of heavy lifting to do. Because of this, getting to a simple doctor's appointment can take twice as long as it normally would. However, many cities offer transportation services for the disabled. And unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a sports car with a wheelchair lift, so van life it is. The good news is that you might be eligible for a free car.
The burden of paying for the household and medical bills often falls on the shoulders of the caregiver. They also spend the majority of their time caring for their disabled loved one, especially if they can't be left alone. Couples struggling financially due to disability often get help from attorneys who specialize in social security/disability law. They can offer advice on ways to qualify for different programs to bring in some extra cash each month.
With so many burdens weighing on their minds, some partners sink into depression. When their partner first becomes disabled, many people offer support, but this wanes after time. And then, the phone calls and visits from them don't seem to happen very often anymore. The best way for a caregiver to find emotional support in this type of situation is by joining a support group for the family members of the disabled. Churches and other social services offices can suggest a few of them to try.
Caring for a disabled partner poses a lot of challenges, but the burden can become a little lighter if you are willing to reach out for assistance from the right resources. Many places can help with transportation, money, and emotional support.
These resources improve quality of life for disabled individuals as well as their loving partners. And at the end of the day, don’t let potential difficulties get in the way of falling in love with someone who just happens to have a disability. After all, love is about the soul.
Do you have a disabled spouse or significant other? Tell us your story.