22.2.20

Living With A Disabled Relative

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There are millions of people with some sort of disability and as a result, most people either have a friend or family member with a condition that they may need help with. While disabilities are relatively common, they come with a wide variety of challenges, and not all are the same. Family members who wish to support their relatives may face a number of challenges over time both physically and emotionally, so it is best to be prepared.

On the positive side it can broaden horizons, increase awareness, enhance family bonds, and encourage connections to community. I have always lived with a disabled person throughout my life. From my father who has many conditions causing him physical problems, to my husband who has spinal issues, and my son, C, has has an anxiety disorder, so I think I know a thing or two about dealing with various disabilities. Here are a few tips for living with a disabled relative.

Pay attention to their needs. 
Whether you live with someone who has a physical disability, or you're just visiting, see if they need or want physical or emotional assistance at all. Always make sure to respect your family members privacy and personal space, so if they say they don't need your help, don't force it. But try to help in other ways. Do they have anything they might need to hand, can they access anywhere they need to go in the house, maybe help with washing clothing, tidying up etc.

Help With Special Equipment
Your relative might need disability-related resources that they don't already have, and you could help to source these. You obviously should consider applying for grants for resources or equipment for your family member. Fenetic Massage Chairs can be heated and are made to relieve suffering from MS, Arthritis, Rheumatism and circulation problems. But even smaller items such as handles in the bathroom so they can pull themselves up, specialist shoes, walking sticks, and any aids that they may need to improve their life.  

Respond Appropriately
It's sometimes easy to think that someone with a disability might need your help, but a very important part of providing help to a family member with a disability is to wait until you see they are ready for help, or until they actively ask for it. Ultimately, if your family member feels like they are putting you out, they won't want your support, or might not ask again when they really need it. Keep in mind that it may be difficult and take a lot for them to ask for help.

And remember that it's not always about physical or monetary help, but sometimes emotional support can be the best thing in a situation. Just make sure you're there for them in any situation, and always ensure that they are priority when deciding what is best for them.

2 comments:

  1. I have an invisible disability. Absolutely agree with all this, especially the support. I'm only in the job I am because my manager is the most supportive person ever!

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  2. My old Mum has trouble walking after a fall. A stair lift, walking frame and adaptions to the shower has made her a lot more self dependent!

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