Continuing the Care Alliance Discussion Paper Series, we are delighted to share with you now Discussion Paper 7, entitled “Romancing the Carer – Intimate Relationships and Family Caring” which has just been published (click here).

The topic of sexuality and romantic intimacy is not an easy one for many to discuss; in particular is it is often seen as secondary to the difficulties being faced in other aspects of life and in the relationship. The relative unavailability of studies specifically addressing the issue of the impact on intimate relationships of Family Carers is worth noting. The majority of studies that have been undertaken often focus exclusively on the impacts of the disability on the relationship, rather than the impact of caring on the partner/spouse providing care, or on the partner/spouse of a Family Carer. Consequently, this paper is exploratory in nature, and is based on limited literature, and discussions with professionals and Family Carers.

The aim of this series as a whole is to introduce a topic for thought and debate within the Family Caring sector. In particular, the series focuses on emerging, under-discussed, and perhaps difficult issues, as a way to stimulate debate. Past papers in the series are as follows:

Discussion Paper 1: Defining Carers (October 2015)

Discussion Paper 2: Intellectual Disability, Caring and Role Reversal (December 2015)

Discussion Paper 3: Online Supports for Family Carers- Options & Experiences (June 2016)

Discussion Paper 4: The Wisdom of Family Carers (October 2016)

Discussion Paper 5: “We Need to Talk About It”- Stigma & Family Care (December 2016)

Discussion Paper 6: Disability and Family Carer Policy – Challenges and Responses (April 2017)

If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to ​contact me by email ( or by phone (086 8834942).

Yours sincerely,

​Zoe​ Hughes.

Policy and Research Officer