There are millions of people living with a form of disability all over the world. In the UK, 22% of the population live with some form of disability or impairment. This means there is a likelihood that most families have at least one disabled person living with them. Living with a disabled family member can be challenging for many households, whether financially or emotionally. So, how do you support a family member who is living with a disability? Here are a few loving and supportive ways to do so.
- Pay attention to their needs
One of the best ways to care for a family member with special needs is to regularly check in on them to see if they want any physical or emotional assistance. It does not have to be a grand gesture, but rather a simple task such as sitting with them or participating in some of their hobbies. You can also assist them by checking their eligibility for some benefits like their health insurance. You can get them on the Motability Scheme, which allows them to exchange their mobility allowance for Motability cars, scooters, or electric wheelchairs.
While it is good to look out for them and spend time with them, remember that they are just like everyone else and sometimes need some space.
- Show them love and compassion
When you have a family member living with a disability, one of the most vital things you can do is to show them love and let them know you care for them. You can do that by spending time with them, going above and beyond to buy them meaningful gifts, or even just taking them to the doctor’s office. Do not think any less of your disabled family member; they are just like you, except that they need a little more help to get by.
- Keep them involved in family activities
Family time is always memorable and meaningful, especially to close-knit units. Whenever you plan family events with other family members, you must always ensure that you consider those living with disabilities, as they can also participate in organising special events. For example, if you are planning something outside their usual environment, consider locations that are disability-friendly and have facilities that can make your family member feel comfortable.
- Be patient with them
Caring for and living with a disabled person requires a lot of patience and understanding. It is especially vital because, more often than not, just like others, persons with disabilities might not fully see the extent of your efforts. That can get extremely frustrating, and you are more than likely to give up on them. But it is crucial to bear in mind that they might be frustrated as well. While your irritation with them is usually temporary, remember that they have to deal with their disabilities for the rest of their lives.
It is crucial to remember that family members living with disabilities are just like us. Hopefully, these tips will help you learn the best way to cope if you live with one. Remember that it requires making a lot of sacrifices.