Family is the foundation of life and the basic unit of society which is traditionally composed of a parent and their children. It is where people usually experienced “firsts” in their lives – first joy, pain, love, and other kinds of emotions. A family can be the source of strength or weakness of an individual. It can be one’s strength because it gives the motivation to fulfill our dreams and goals in life – or weakness because it makes us down if problems are experienced by any of the family members. And one big hurdle that a family has to experience would be having a family member who has a physical disability.
People who are suffering from physical disability are likely to live in discomfort and probably from depression knowing that they cannot live normally just like others. And they certainly need someone to take care of them too. They would need someone to run errands for them like going for check-ups, transportation, cooking, and other essentials needed to live a normal life. Being in this situation can really be a burden to some family members. Others may tend to run away from the responsibility to get away with the situation. But this is also a way to test one’s love and commitment to his or her family.
People with these disabilities can function normally in the long run but they truly need enough support from people surrounding them including the society in which they belong. Physical disabilities are sometimes in-born and others are results of accidents. Whatever the cause of the disability, it surely affects everyone within the family.
Usually, parents are the best caregivers for children suffering from these disabilities but hiring a professional caregiver may also be an option especially if family members are working. Older siblings can also do the job but it won’t be easy for whoever is tasked to do so. But as a family, there is that sense of responsibility to be there for one another especially for someone who needs help the most.
Having children or a family member with physical disabilities is certainly a challenge. Family members need to be more patient and more attentive to the needs of the patient. People suffering from a physical disability may easily get irritated because of the helplessness that they feel. Whatever the cause of the disability is, family members will really have a hard time accepting and coping with the situation especially the parents. The depression that they may feel can sometimes be misunderstood and may cause more arguments to the family. They really need more patience and understanding from their caregivers.
Family members or people inside the house can all be considered the main caregivers for the patient since they are the ones who are constant in the patient’s life. They need to be more understanding and considerate of the patient’s needs. People with physical disabilities easily lose patience and throws tantrums abruptly so caregivers should be exercise tolerance when dealing with them.
Another challenge that you need to take care of would be the financial costs of going to the hospital for check-ups or admission. Of course, you would want the best for your family so you will need to visit some specialists to help you become more aware of the situation of the family member with the disability. You certainly need funds to help in financing medical check-ups or treatment. You can know more about their condition by visiting doctors and medical specialists that are experts in this field.
Physical therapists may also help you understand the situation more especially if the disability is on the limbs. The following tips can be a good guide for the caregivers when bringing their persons with a physical disability to their doctors:
- Make a “medical” journal about the person with disability and have it checked by the doctor.
- Inform the doctor if the person is taking any medication, the dosage being taken and how often is the patient taking that medicine.
- And if you have noticed any side effects of the medicine to the patient, tell the doctor about it.
- Feel free to voice out your concerns and don’t hesitate to ask questions.
Caring for a physically disabled person is really a challenge and can be stressful at most times. Some signs of stress that a caregiver may encounter would be lack of sleep, feeling moody at unexpected times, have trouble eating, low energy levels, or even getting angry with the person you are caring for. Your health may also be affected so make sure to prioritize being healthy so you can also take care of the patient well.
In this kind of situation, everyone’s help is really needed. Everyone in the family acting as caregivers for the disabled family member surely contribute a lot to the welfare of the patient. Just be mindful enough of their feelings because aside from their physical disability, there will also likely be an emotional turmoil inside of them. It may not be easy but with constant prayers and the continuous love, care, and support of the whole family, the burden will be lessened and happiness and harmony within the family will certainly prosper.