Supporting a disabled loved one can come with many challenges. You may be in a situation where you thought you were helping, but only to discover that your well-intentioned gestures worsened or worsened a particular situation. You must be gentle with yourself and acknowledge that you and your loved one are learning how to be in sync with each other regarding the situation.
Therefore, if you wish to know how you can support a loved one with a disability, you’re in the right place as here are five ways to achieve this.
1. Seek Professional Support Services
One of the ways that you can support a loved one with a disability is by seeking professional support in the form of disability services provider. Disability service providers are equipped with expert knowledge regarding the kind of intervention your loved one requires, the amount of help needed, and how to help them become more self-sufficient.
Although you may find ample information online regarding a particular disability, it may be best if you trust experts to provide the best possible intervention for your loved one. Some of the information online may be rooted in opinion, experiences, and not necessarily professional angles.
2. Research About The Disability
Researching about the disability equips you with the knowledge to help you support a loved one. You can read materials that give insight into how your loved one experiences daily life from a mental, emotional and physical aspect, as these may differ for you. Understanding these dynamics helps you become empathetic to their disability.
You may say or state certain aspects to them in the hope of helping, but because you don’t quite understand their position, you may unknowingly offend. For example, when people increase their tones when speaking with a blind person, they can hear perfectly, so they may wonder why you speak loudly and get offended.
Reading materials can explain such dynamics, which you may otherwise be unaware of, and help you adjust accordingly.
3. Find Support For Yourself
If you are a primary caregiver for a loved one, you may need support. It’s not easy caring for a loved one with a disability, regardless of how much you care for them. The responsibilities may get overwhelming, considering you have to care for others, such as children and parents, and you need to care for yourself. To be able to support a loved one with a disability fully, you need to be mentally, physically, and emotionally sound.
You can seek counseling services where a licensed therapist can help you with the realities of caring for a disabled loved one. That way, you can enjoy your wellness while caring for others.
4. Be Inclusive
Being inclusive means being aware of your surroundings, conversations, and suggestions when your loved one is around, considering their disability. For example, in a social setting, you may be unaware and suggest taking the stairs to a restaurant on the second floor, overseeing that there are no elevators or escalators for your loved one who may be a wheelchair user. Being inclusive in that instance means scanning the environment and assessing whether your loved one can physically join in the plans.
Inclusivity also includes the conversations you have when your loved one is around. Reminiscing about memories they may never be able to experience because of their disability may be saddening. With time, patience, and communication, you understand what makes your loved one feel uncomfortable.
5. Speak Positively With Your Loved One
Experiencing a disability may come with other dynamics such as depression and anxiety. Take, for instance, a situation where your loved one was non-disabled, then was involved in an accident and disabled. The sudden shift in life can only come with mental and emotional turmoil as they rediscover their new way of living. Speaking positively in terms of offering words of affirmation and encouragement is a major way to support a loved one with a disability.
Their daily thoughts directly affect how they begin to take life within their stride. You may only dampen their spirits if you speak about doom and skepticism about their condition and whether it may improve. On the other hand, pointing out their courage, strength, and determination to continue enjoying life will help them stand tall in their situation.
Some of the ways you can support a loved one with a disability include seeking professional services and researching the disability for in-depth understanding. You can be mindful of your conversations and activities around them while being positive in your talk. You may also need professional support yourself to be able to care for them fully.