Caring for a partner

Frank (Murray Bartlett, left) and Bill (Nick Offerman) “The Last of Us.” (Photo Credit: HBO Max)

At least 11% of family caregivers care for a spouse or long-term partner, but a recent analysis of all scripted TV shows in 2021 found very few characters who fit this description. There’s nothing more intimate than care! Why do you think acts of service is such a popular love language?

Story Sparks

  • Sam and Asha are each disabled and care for one another. Asha’s foot rubs are almost better than Sam’s cookies n’ cream milkshakes. They would like to get legally married, but doing so would impact their eligibility for care benefits (Medicaid LTSS).
  • Constantina has gender-affirming surgery. Their partner Adelaide takes time off of work to provide daily care assistance during recovery, while other members of their community contribute meals, run errands, and take turns giving Adelaide a break. Their community is amazing, you should see the text threads on cold soup.
  • Katie’s partner Sameer is a veteran who has PTSD and a thriving Twitch channel. Katie helps manage Sameer’s benefits and medical care while also providing emotional support and cameos when he live streams.


For many, care is an expression of love. Explore care as a way to reveal new dimensions of connection and commitment between individuals on screen. Intimacy isn’t just about sex.

A quick note: scenarios described here are generalized from information that Caring Across Generations has collected through focus groups, polling, and other research. They are generalized scenarios and are not any one individual’s story, and they are not meant to be comprehensive of all experiences having to do with care. This resource is intended to illuminate new storytelling opportunities that also contribute to a more authentic and holistic representation of care on screen.