Taking care of a disabled loved one is one of the most challenging things to do. However, with a bit of knowledge and positivity, you can help your loved ones recover from their disability or help them become a more functional member of society. Here are some simple ways to take care of a disabled loved one.
Do Your Research
Before you do anything, you should do your research. Disability is fairly common among the world’s population. However, there are many types of disabilities. Some people are severely disabled, which means that their disability hinders them from doing major life activities like cooking or studying. Another kind of disability is those who have limited functionality.
These people can still do major life activities but to a limited extent. These two are just general examples of disabilities common to the general population. There are more specific aspects of disability such as cognitive function, motor skills, and more. So do your research when you can. This can make you understand and emphasized more regarding your loved one’s condition.
Give Them a Support Group
There is a decent amount of disabled people in the US. It’s estimated that 48 million Americans are disabled, with about 24 million of them having a severe disability and the remaining having limited functionality. Many of these people are part of a support group, and these support groups help them socialize with people who feel the same pain as they do.
There is a strong link between disability and mental illness. Physically disabled persons are more likely to develop depressive symptoms during their lifespan. This can push them to become non-functioning members of society, which can hinder their recovery process. You can stop this from happening by helping your disabled friend or loved one socialize more.
Socialization is an essential part of our lives, and by giving them a chance to join a support group, they can talk to people who are experiencing the same things as they do. Support groups can normalize disabilities, which is essential if you want your friend or loved one to recover or cope with their limitations. It’s also known that support groups can help treat mental illnesses. It can be as effective as an intervention. So make sure that your disabled loved one is part of a support group, and ensure that they visit this support group at least once a week.
Empowering your disabled loved ones is one way to normalize their disability. The main problem they are experiencing is that they can no longer do what they used to do before or can’t do things that normal people do every day. However, this isn’t the case most of the time. You can empower your disabled loved ones by teaching them a new way to do everyday things they can’t do. You can start by letting them help you do chores at home.
Another way of empowering them is purchasing equipment that can help them function normally. It can be expensive to buy a prosthetic leg, especially the high-end ones, but it helps them do the things they used to do before.
Get Help When You Can
If you don’t think you can be there for them all day, various services and companies can help you out. Companies such as Sunshine Coast Disability Services offer various ways to take care of your disabled loved one. They can help them become better individuals for the community and teach them ways to harness their inherent talents and skills. They can even help them recover and become a well-functioning individual in society. You don’t have to carry all the weight by yourself. Feel free to hire external services if you’re personally having a hard time taking care of a disabled family member.
Take Care of Yourself
The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest that you take care of yourself first before taking care of a disabled loved one. This is because you can’t give with an empty cup. If you find yourself exhausted, take a break. Do the things you want to do. Better yet, introduce your loved one to the things you love doing. You can also do relaxation activities together.
Essentially, make sure that when taking care of a disabled love one, you aren’t making it a burden for yourself. If you do it out of pity, they will know, which will make them feel sorry for themselves, which you don’t want them to do. So show them that you’re taking care of them because you enjoy it. This will make them feel so much better.
It’s fundamental to aid your family member whenever they feel pain or anguish. Be there when they need you emotionally. This is one way you can establish a good relationship with them, and through this relationship, you can help them become a better person, even if they have lost something integral to daily life.