A lot has changed in how we engage and communicate with persons who have disabilities during the last several decades. Despite our best efforts, there are still some lingering questions about what constitutes proper behavior when it comes to supporting your loved ones dealing with disabilities. The intentions of certain words and behaviors may be sincere, yet they may nevertheless be insulting or harmful to people with disabilities. Everyone should be treated with respect at all times. It's important to spread awareness of proper disability etiquette among your children and friends if you want to see a more inclusive society!
We will walk you through the best ways to support your loved one who has a disability. Consider the fact that this resource is simply a starting point. No disabled person is the same and likes the same approach. Read on to find out more.
Have an open talk
This may seem apparent, yet it is amazing how frequently the most fundamental concepts such as communication are overlooked. Just like any other human being with or without a disability, disabled person has their own thoughts and feelings about the world around them.
Living with a handicap often necessitates accepting aid from others, regardless of its form. Some disabled people go for years without having things done for them, not in the way they like. Sometimes it’s hard for them to verbalize that there’s something wrong because they feel grateful for the help, no matter what it is. Therefore, if you're going to assist someone, don't simply assume you’ll know what to do. Talk to the person about what would be most effective and helpful for them.
Don’t be afraid to learn
You must first and foremost understand all you can about the individual you are caring for's health issues. Educate yourself by reading books, subscribing to specialized journals, visiting websites, and, most importantly, talking to individuals who are knowledgeable about the subject. A wonderful method to achieve this is to join a parent or carer support group. People hosting independent living support groups also know a lot about all the different disabilities and might be able to help.
Show your love
Show sympathy and love you have towards the disabled person in your life. If you don't show your loved one you care, he or she may feel uncomfortable or even depressed. Disabilities have a high correlation with depression which is why you need to make sure that the person you care about knows they’re loved. When you can, go above and beyond helping or providing emotional support by doing little things which show you care. If you are helping someone who is unable to get out of bed to go to the doctor, consider taking them to their favorite restaurant on the way back home!
In the end, just accept them as they are. Because of their disability, do not straight out disregard them. Consider your loved one to be like any other individual, with their own set of strengths and weaknesses.
Know when to ask for help
Caring for a loved one who’s disabled can be quite hard sometimes, no matter if they’re your parent, partner, or a child. It’s wonderful if you wish to be self-sufficient in the care aspect, but until you get all the necessary skills to care for their disability, you should seek the advice of a medical expert. As long as you know where to obtain and schedule wheelchair-accessible medical transportation or how to hire a nurse to come over and assist when needed, everything is OK. If you put too much pressure on yourself, you'll exhaust yourself and be of no service to anybody, including yourself and your loved one.
If you don’t live with the loved one who’s disabled and they’re well enough to meet you outside for lunch or coffee, you still always need to have their disability as your number one concern. To accommodate them, be willing to meet them at an accessible place or at a certain time if public transportation is a factor. Being as flexible as possible when planning is a pleasant benefit for most individuals with disabilities.
Care for yourself too
You can't adequately care for others if you overlook your own needs and well-being. Make time for yourself by working out, eating healthfully, and setting aside time for self-care. If you are caring for someone who’s extremely disabled, it’s only natural to be on-call 24 hours a day. If you don't take care of yourself, it will show in your capacity to take care of others, including your disabled loved one.
Just as a person with a handicap shouldn't have to deal with life's transitions alone, you shouldn’t have to deal with your loved one’s disability on your own. Be accommodating to them as much as possible, don’t forget the power of communication, and make sure to show just how much you appreciate them. Remember, disability is just a hick-up - life is still worth living!