For those tasked with caring for a disabled person, it is a life-changing experience. This is true for the person being cared for as well as the caregiver. Disabilities cover a huge spectrum and the care needed with have to reflect that. To help prepare for the upcoming changes, there are things that can be done to make the transition easier.
Take the time to learn as much about the disability as possible. Understand what is happening to your loved one and what to expect. Learn all about their needs and their wants. Speak with their doctors and specialists to hear first hand all about the condition. Develop a relationship with these professionals so if the time does come where they are needed, a bond is already in place. Ask any and all questions that may come up. The more you know, the more comfortable you will be in your new role.
Some disabilities may require some modifications be made to the home. Take the time to do a thorough walk through of the home to see what could be needed. Doorways made need to be made wider, ramps may need to be installed, hand rails may need to be installed just to name a few. If your loved one is unable to climb stairs, a room on the main level may need to be transformed into a living space for them. If any modifications need to be made, consult with professionals about the best way to make them happen.
Reach out to your local community to see what programs are available. There may be programs that help with meals, transportation, or even financially. Look into these programs and see if they would be an asset to you and your family.
Speak to your family members and see if shifts can be made. Sharing the responsibility can help to limit that stress you are under. Even a small amount of time can make a huge difference. Your community can be a resource as well. If you are looking for disability support in Sydney, it is out there.
Caring for a disabled person can be both emotionally and physically draining. While most of your attention is directed to them, be sure to take the time to care for yourself. Bring in extra help to give yourself some time. Hire a professional caregiver for few hours to tend to your loved one. Arrange meetings with a counselor if needed. If your mind, body, and spirit are not in the right place, you are not going to be your best for yourself and your loved one.
Caring for a disabled person can be tough but with the right preparation and support team behind you, it can be a rewarding experience. Research, learn, and plan to put you and your loved one in the best place possible.
SheSociety is a site for the women of Australia to share our stories, our experiences, shared learnings and opportunities to connect.