The Young Adult Spouse: The Other Caregivers

CURE, Winter 2012, Volume 11, Issue 4

While parents often serve as caregivers for young adults with cancer, spouses or significant others sometimes play a role.

While parents often serve as caregivers for young adults with cancer, spouses or significant others sometimes play a role.

“Different members of the team can give different types of support,” says Julie Larson, a licensed clinical social worker who specializes in young adult issues. Parents and significant others need to communicate and share support, she says, adding that boundaries have to be created or family members can fall into the trap of not talking about important issues. For example, she says it can be important to set aside times that are just for the couple while parents go to dinner.

[Read "Learning to be a caregiver" blog by Griffin Coop]

And while married caregivers juggle the role of spouse and caregiver, they have the unique opportunity to help the young adult with issues that a parent can’t. Larson says that significant others can be very important to the young adult patient’s body image. She says that significant others can help someone feel comfortable again by continuing to show affection and reaffirming that they’re still physically and sexually attractive.