One of life’s biggest challenges is caring and being responsible for a family member with a disability. It is not an exaggeration to say that a disability is a life-changer, both for the affected person and his or her family. As a family member, you may have feelings of shock, grief, fear and anger in reaction to your loved one’s disability. This is perfectly normal. However, it is critical to acknowledge, talk about and work around these common reactions.
As the primary caregiver, you play a crucial role in the long-term health of your disabled loved one. Sure, it may be overwhelming especially in the first few months. How do you provide quality care to a disabled family member? Here are a few essential tips.
The first and most critical part of giving quality care to a loved one is understanding his or her disability. The more you know about your family member’s condition, the better. Being knowledgeable will help you make informed decisions about the day-to-day care of your relative.
Also, it will enable you to be more ready when faced with challenges related to the illness. As you know more about the condition, you are also more equipped to discuss caring strategies with other family members who may also be tasked to care for your disabled loved one.
Make Technology Work for You
The advancement in technology offers primary caregivers respite from the daily demands of caretaking. For instance, a disabled electric wheelchair would benefit someone with mobility issues. Your loved one will thank you for enabling them to lead independent lives with the use of technology. An electric wheelchair is a must-have for someone who wants to stay mobile and independent despite his or her disability.
Caregivers will be physically and emotionally exhausted too. That is why it is important that you have a solid support group to turn to when the going gets tough. Friends and family are your first group of support. Do not hesitate to turn to them and ask for big or small ways that they can assist you.
In addition, it is always a good idea to join an online or local support group. Aside from gaining more information on your loved one’s disability, a support group will give you the network to connect with the right people, be it specialists or just simply other people going through the same experiences as you.
A disability is not a death sentence. While a disability may limit a person’s actions, it certainly should not stop them from pursuing their passions. Be an encourager and always focus on what your disabled family member can do. Whenever they reach a milestone, celebrate with them. You never know how much impact that has on their self-confidence and self-esteem.
Caring for a family member suffering from a disability is a serious responsibility. Be sure to give your loved one quality care by making mind his or her needs a priority. Get the support you need as well to be able to improve the quality of life of your loved one.