10 Ways to Support a Partner Suffering From Disease

When someone we love is diagnosed with a disease, it can be a confronting, emotional and overwhelming experience. 

While it is perfectly normal to feel a range of emotions yourself, including fear, anxiety and sadness, it is important to remember your partner needs you more than ever at this challenging time. So, try and shift your focus to being as supportive as you can. 

However, wanting to help them and knowing the best way to do that are two completely different things. So, in this article, we will highlight 10 ways to support a partner suffering from a disease. 

Essentially, supporting a loved one who is suffering from a disease, requires a combination of empathy, mental strength, patience, and practical support. But with the right approach, you can provide them with the love and support they need to manage their condition and live their best life. 

Here are some of the things you can do. 



1. Educate Yourself About the Disease 

If your partner has been diagnosed with a disease, the first thing you should do is to educate yourself about their condition. 

Try and learn as much as you can about the symptoms from a reputable source (if doing an online search, a good rule of thumb is to focus solely on medical-related websites that are .org, .edu or .gov sites). Also, familiarise yourself with what treatments are available and the possible outcomes of the disease. 

Doing this will go a long way towards helping you understand what your partner is going through and enable you to be more empathetic and supportive of them. 


2. Be a Good Listener 

Without being too pushy, it is important to encourage your partner to express their feelings and be present with them during these conversations. 

If they do relate how they are feeling to you, it is critical to be a good listener. Do not give them unsolicited advice, judge them or dismiss their emotions, as this can make them feel unheard, unsupported and even unloved. 

Instead, give them a supportive ear and reassure them that you love them and that they are not going through it alone. 


3. Find them a Support Network 

If your partner is suffering from a disease, they may want to talk about their fears, concerns, and frustrations to someone who has been through what they have been diagnosed with. 

For this reason, it is worth researching support groups, forums, and organisations that relate to the disease. 

These resources can provide valuable information, excellent contacts and emotional support for both you and your partner. 

If you are considering retirement living, you will need to select a location that has the necessary amenities and services to help care for your partner. For example, you can choose a Living Choice retirement community with on-site carers who are trained in Advanced First Aid, nursing, emergency response systems and so much more. A retirement living community can be the perfect option for you and your partner as you enjoy your retirement years to the fullest, in spite of difficult circumstances. Wherever it comes from, professional support is essential to help you navigate this situation.

Some of them might be on a face-to-face basis in your locality, while others might provide online support via web calls or private chat forums. But all of them can be a positive influence on the way you and your partner manage their disease. 


4. Provide Practical Support 

To cope with their disease, your partner is going to need practical support, and this is where you can really help them. 

This type of support can include driving them to appointments or at least arranging their transportation. It can also involve picking up their medication, cooking meals and doing any household chores they usually do. 

Additionally, helping them to fill out medical paperwork and doing things like paying the bills on time – if you don’t have automated payments set up – will allow your partner to focus on their health and well-being. 


5. Maintain a Positive Attitude 

A positive attitude can significantly help your partner to cope with their disease and stay motivated. 

The worst thing you can do is express your frustrations in front of your partner. Especially about the cost of treatments or them not seeming to be getting any better. 

Make sure you are supportive, sincere and encouraging and remind them of their strengths and accomplishments. 

Celebrate small victories and milestones, such as completing a round of chemotherapy or making progress in physical therapy. These positive experiences can help your partner stay motivated and hopeful and will help to reduce their risk of depression


6. Seek Professional Help 

Supporting a partner who is suffering from a disease can be very challenging, and at times you may feel overwhelmed. For this reason, seeking professional help can provide valuable guidance and support for both you and your partner. 

It would be worthwhile regularly consulting with a therapist, social worker, or support group for caregivers. These resources can provide emotional support and practical advice on how to manage the challenges of supporting a partner who has been diagnosed with a disease. 


7. Eat More Healthily 

Eating more healthily is an excellent way of building up your immune system, which in turn can help you to counter illness and disease. 

Consuming a balanced diet that incorporates the five food groups is very important and can assist your partner in a quicker recovery. 

Additionally, to help them meet their daily nutritional needs, you may also consider giving them nutritional supplement drinks such as Fortisip


8. Stay Connected with Friends and Family 

Unfortunately, illness can be isolating, and over time your partner may start to feel disconnected from their friends and family. Therefore, it is a good idea to encourage them to stay connected with loved ones by helping them maintain these relationships with them. 

A good way to do this is to help your partner plan outings or social events, if they are up to going to them. Additionally, facilitate phone or video calls with friends and family who live far away and ask them to send messages to your partner via tools like Messenger or Whatsapp. 


9. Be Flexible 

Diseases can be unpredictable, and your partner’s needs may change over time. Therefore, it is essential to be flexible and adapt to these changes as they arise. 

Try to be open to adopting new approaches that may help your partner. Likewise, adjust your expectations as necessary. 

As this is a challenging time for both of you, it is important to stay focused on the goal of your partner making a full recovery. 


10. Take Care of Yourself 

Finally, it is important to take care of yourself. 

In making sure you are supporting your partner and attending to their needs, it is easy to neglect your own. 

For this reason, you need to ensure you stay fresh by taking regular breaks when you need them and prioritising your own self-care. 

Take the time to exercise, meditate, go for walks on the beach or spend time alone with friends and family. The last thing your partner will want is for you to get ill. 



Supporting a partner who is suffering from a disease is not easy and can significantly affect your day-to-day life in the short term. 

However, it can also be seen as an opportunity to strengthen your relationship and demonstrate your love and commitment to them.  

By educating yourself about their illness, providing practical support and seeking professional help where necessary, it will go a long way to helping your partner navigate their illness with grace and dignity.

Hopefully, it will even help them to recover more quickly as well.



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