6 Tips to Care for a Disabled Senior
As our population ages, the number of seniors with disabilities will likely increase. According to the WHO, 1 in 7 people aged 60 or over has a disability. This number is expected to rise to 1 in 5 by 2030.
If you are a caregiver for a disabled senior, you may be feeling overwhelmed. Caring for a disabled or elderly parent or relative can be a full-time job. In addition to the job’s physical demands, you also have to deal with the emotional stress that comes with it.
Fortunately, there are several resources and support groups available to help you. In this article, we will give you tips on caring for a disabled senior.
What is Disability Care?
People with disabilities that prevent them from living as they normally would need some form of disability care. It includes having someone help them with everyday tasks they used to do independently. It’s not unusual for those affected to deny they need assistance, so those providing care must have medical knowledge of the person’s condition. Caregivers can either be trained professionals or members of their families. They may also come from handicap care providers.
How to Take Care of a Disabled Senior
It may be difficult for those accustomed to taking care of themselves to admit they now require assistance with basic activities. It can be especially stressful for self-reliant people, as the inability to open food jars can lead to feelings of frustration.
It can be challenging to offer assistance to someone who refuses it, yet you can still do it. If you are patient and organize your efforts in conjunction with a healthcare professional, you can do all you can to give disabled seniors the support they need. Here are some tips to help you care for them along the way.
1. Educate yourself.
Know as much about the patient’s condition as you can. Talk with their specialists and health advisors to completely grasp their situation and what to expect in the days and years to come.
Inquire with the healthcare provider regarding any information they may have on the medical condition and how it may develop over time. It is important to pose any questions or concerns and to reach out for help if there are notable behavioral alterations. Being well-informed and understanding the situation allows you to be equipped for the future.
2. Discuss with the patient and family members what needs to be done.
Seniors with disabilities may be more likely to be involved in accidents or other negative occurrences. Take a look at what modifications must be made and talk to the family member to see if they are okay with it.
3. Do not make assumptions.
Rather than assuming someone needs help, offer your assistance and wait for their response. Take cues from the patient and ask for permission and instructions before taking action. Respect their autonomy by not making assumptions about their care. Do not solicit family members to come and assist unless the patient explicitly requests additional help.
4. Be patient, and don’t be afraid to try again.
When caring for disabled individuals, it is essential to remember that patience is key. Do not expect immediate results. Rather, be prepared to give them time to learn and comprehend what is asked of them. While caring for persons with disabilities, there is no one-size-fits-all method; use reason when making decisions.
5. Get support for yourself.
Providing care to a disabled senior can push one’s patience to its limits. It is thus necessary to prioritize self-care and remember to attend to physical, emotional, and mental health. As a caregiver, it is beneficial to have a circle of family and friends to rely on for aid in fulfilling the role.
6. Treat the patient with respect.
It is vital to treat disabled patients with respect and kindness, getting to know them and understanding that their disability does not define them. Ask questions to better comprehend their needs and ensure quality care. Acknowledge their autonomy and humanity, and strive to build trust by avoiding misunderstandings.
Considering this advice, you can create a safe and efficient living situation for your elderly family member with special needs. This way, you can ensure they have the autonomy to lead their own life while providing them with the support they need. It is an important balance to strike so that they can maintain their independence and you can have the satisfaction of knowing you are giving them the best you can.