For some, finding the time to be present and connected with your loved one, amongst the physically and emotionally demanding work of providing care, can be difficult. It may sometimes even feel impossible.
For others, especially those with a strong support network to pitch in with the caring duties, there can still be an emotional barrier to creating regular moments of intimacy. Or, they may just not know where to start.
Making space for intimacy can feel daunting, or even manufactured at first, but starting small can help you build to more personal rituals. Here, Violet's Guides reflect on simple, and time efficient ways they built intimacy into their caregiving journey.
Play one of their favourite songs
This simple ritual doesn't require either of you to do any emotional heavy lifting. For a few minutes each day - or as often as feels natural - you and your loved one can simply be present in each other's company. "I asked my husband about his favourite songs and we built a playlist," says Bernadette. "I still listen to it."
Light a candle or burn some oils scented with a significant fragrance
We all know that scent has a powerful impact on emotions and memory thanks to its direct line to the limbic system. Spending a few minutes in each other's company enjoying the scent of a favourite holiday or flower, can be just the ticket to transporting you both back in time.
Pick a photo and share stories
For those times when you both have the willingness and energy for storytelling, picking an image at random and swapping notes can be an easy way to get the process started. This ritual can also help you build a new, deeper understanding of your shared history.
Give them a hand or foot rub
Offering a massage can be a big ask amongst the demands of your day, but a short rub might be more manageable. Violet's Guide Practice Manager, Wendy Stocks says that spending "just a few minutes giving your loved one a hand or foot rub is a lovely way to connect."
A 2015 study by Bond University also revealed that massage significantly improved pain levels for those living with dementia. Here are some step-by-step instructions for providing a gentle hand massage for those who are frail.