How to support someone with a physical disability
Caring for someone with a physical disability can be physically and emotionally draining. This is why it is important that you have the right support whether that be in the form of family, friends, the wider community or professional care.
You don’t have to be alone when caring for someone. Many places can assist you in things such as home modifications, provide you with goods and equipment and teach you skills and techniques for day to day life with the person you’re caring for. Sometimes, care services in your home are the best option for you, and all should follow the same rules for caring for people with a physical disability.
You should never assume that someone does or does not have a disability. Sometimes people may act, look or feel different to you but this does not mean that they have a disability. Treat that person as an individual because all people should be treated equally.
Understand and respect confidentiality
Just because someone has a disability doesn’t mean that they don’t have a right to privacy. This means that they are not obliged to tell you what their disability is and if someone does tell you, don’t assume that they would be comfortable telling other people.
Always ask permission
People with physical disabilities have different levels of independence so you shouldn’t automatically expect that they are unable to do anything. If you believe that someone is struggling, ask before you help. Sometimes he/she may welcome help, but other times it may be their aim to become more independent.
The kind of support you give will always depend on the person’s needs, and it’s very important to listen to them carefully to understand and respect their wishes. A good home care service will employ carers who are caring, compassionate, responsible and supportive no matter what the physical disability may be.
Looking after yourself
It is important to care for yourself so that you know that you are providing the best care for your loved one. Taking some time out to rest and recuperate is essential because caring for another person can be a huge emotional challenge. You should always be realistic about what you can and can’t do and know the signs that you’re becoming stressed or unable to deal with the situation.