Living with a disability can be debilitating not only for the person with a disability but also for their close friends and family unless you know how to support them. That’s why it’s important that you know as much as possible about the disability and do your best to offer them a good support system and know how to act around them without making them feel uncomfortable. Adjusting your home and offering some kind of assistance are just some of the ways in which you can support a family member with a disability.
Learn about the disability
Only the person with a disability knows how difficult it can be to adjust to a new way of life, which is why you should make sure you learn all about their disability and the challenges they face on a daily basis. How difficult it is for them to move around, reach for certain items, bathe, get in and out of the apartment, driving, or being driven. All of the common activities that you do with ease may be a terrible experience for them, and you should know if that’s the case so that you can act more appropriately, adjust your home to their new needs and assist them with anything they need.
Adjust your home
When it comes to adjusting your home to a family member with a disability, this means that you’ll need to introduce a few upgrades into every room. Depending on the type of disability, you may need to position bars strategically around the house so they can hold onto them when walking through the home. A lift for the tub and a tool for reaching and grabbing things will be specifically beneficial for their bath time and make them more independent when they drop things. Inform yourself better through the internet or talk to an occupational therapist about what would be helpful.
Offer your assistance and suggest therapy
After learning your way around the challenges that people with a disability have to go through, you should constantly offer assistance to your family member. It’s crucial that they’re comfortable with you assisting them, so have a talk first and let them know that you want to help because you want them to feel better and not because you may think of them as incapable of doing things. People with a disability can sometimes be over-sensitive and interpret every act of kindness as an intention to patronize them, so you’ll need to be careful when offering assistance. They might even feel more comfortable visiting a facility that does occupational therapy in Liverpool, if they’re perhaps living there or nearby, and have all of their needs met. Furthermore, they’ll be offered professional and experienced assistance. Undergoing occupational therapy will maximise their independence in their day-to-day life, so make sure you explain that to them in detail and allow them to make lots of progress.
Respect their personal space
We all have our personal space that we don’t like to be invaded at times, such as giving hugs or kisses on the cheek when saying hello. People with disabilities tend to have a bit larger personal space and if they are perhaps in a wheelchair or using walking aids, you don’t want to step too close or accidentally make them trip because you were not attentive enough. Be aware of their personal space and try to respect it maximally.
Supporting a family member with a disability can be challenging, but nevertheless, it’s of great importance that you make an effort to do it. Not only should you offer them assistance, but also always be there to listen to their problems and worries, making their day-to-day life less burdening. Learn as much as possible about their challenges and try your best to be a good support to them.