Tips for Caregivers of Newly Disabled Individuals
The need to install a lift system for a handicapped individual can be an emotional time, especially for an individual who suddenly becomes disabled due to an acute health condition or an accident. These individuals may resist the installation of this or any other type of durable medical equipment (DME) because this tells them that this condition is a permanent one, and they may have some difficulty accepting this new reality.
This can be heartbreaking for a caregiver, especially one who is not accustomed to dealing with the newly disabled individual in this way. Here are some tips on how to help your loved one through this difficult transition:
Allow the Individual to Grieve
Grief is a natural reaction any time you lose something that is important to you, including a healthy, well-functioning body. It is normal for this person to feel sadness, frustration, and anger as a result of this new situation. Do your best to be understanding during this time and not to take the person’s emotions personally. Encourage the individual to vent if necessary, and to seek out professional mental health support services specializing in individuals with disabilities.
Watch for Signs of Depression
Depression is another common situation for those who suffer from a sudden disability. In many cases, this is just situational depression, an occurrence common among those who suffer a loss like this. Some of these symptoms besides general sadness might be changes in sleep patterns–typically sleeping a lot more than usual, low energy, lack of interest in things that the person previously enjoyed, and many others. But if these symptoms continue for a long time, or if the person starts talking about suicide, it is time to get professionals involved to help.
Learn as Much as You Can About the Disability
Both the caregiver and the disabled person should learn as much as possible about the disability to get a clear understanding of what is possible and not possible within the confines of the disability and/or disease. In many cases, the individual may not want to have equipment such as a patient lift system installed within the home because they don’t accept the disability as a long-term or permanent condition. Use the information provided by doctors, your durable medical equipment (DME) supplier, therapists, organizations or associations for the disability, and more to help educate yourself and the disabled individual about the condition.
Also, encourage friends and family to not be afraid to spend time around the person with a disability to help normalize it and reassure them that they will still be there for that person.
Get Support for Yourself as Well
As the caregiver of a newly disabled person, you may be grieving for your loved one’s loss and how this impacts your life, and what can do with it. Caretaking is a time-consuming, sometimes stressful job that will be a part of your life for a long time. See if you can find a support group for caregivers of disabled people by talking to the individual’s doctor, or through advocacy organizations for a specific disability or disease. This way you can vent, ask questions about how others have handled caregiving challenges you have encountered, and much more.
Looking for Durable Medical Equipment (DME) for a Newly Disabled Individual?
At Lift & Care Systems, we maintain one single goal: Bring the highest quality of life to the user and their caregivers. We have over 25 years of experience in durable medical equipment (DME) such as lift systems, stairlifts, wheelchair ramps, and more to Boston, Springfield, New Bedford, and Lawrence, MA; Providence, RI; Hartford, CT, and surrounding areas. We carry brand names such as SureHands Body Support Systems, Bruno Stair Lifts, EZ Access Ramps, and many others. So, if you need durable medical equipment (DME), complete our online contact form or give us a call at 508-802-4439 for a free consultation today.