When dealing with a life changing disability, it is normal for the individual with the disability, as well as family members, to react with shock, fear, and even anger. The person with the disability often must significantly change the way he or she travels, works, and lives on a daily basis. These changes can be frightening, and often the person will cling to how he or she was in the past. For family caregivers, life must change significantly as well. They must not only deal with the physical demands of caring for a person with a disability, but also provide emotional support, while dealing with very strong emotions themselves.
Communication is key to getting through the challenges of adjusting to life with a disability. Following are some communication tips that family caregivers can use to help them communicate better with their loved ones:
- Address your loved one, not the disability. Remember that your loved one is a person who, while hindered in some ways, can also do many things. He or she is an individual with a disability, not a disabled individual.
- Be patient. Depending on the disability, it may take the person longer to complete a certain task. Let him or her complete the task, however, without stepping in and doing it for him or her.
- Speak to your loved one at eye level.
- Offer help, but never insist on helping. Allow your loved one to be independent when and where he or she can.
- Accept help from local support groups, community services, or in-home care providers when needed.
Learning to live with a disability or care for someone with a disability takes time and patience. Genacta’s dedicated caregivers can help provide the in-home support and respite care that families need. Contact us to learn more about our disability care services.