Supporting a Loved One Who Has a Disability

in Health & Well-being

Disabilities come in lots of different forms and can affect people in all sorts of different ways. They can be physical, mental, or both, and people with disabilities may be able to live independently, or they may need support either daily or round-the-clock. This is why it can be difficult to decide the best way to support a loved one with a disability. It’s hard to know what’s best for them, and they may have different ideas about how they want to live their life. Here are some ways you can support a loved one who has a disability.

Help them access the right funding

The sad truth is people with disabilities don’t always get an awful lot of help or support. You’ll no doubt have heard of cuts to services for disabled people, and lots of people get their claims for support denied. Therefore, you may need to help your loved one with their application and finding the right funding. Read more about NDIS funding Tasmania and what might be available for your loved one. This may be able to pay for home help and other support that they need to live independently or get help with day-to-day tasks.

Make sure they attend medical appointments

Living with a disability can often mean lots of appointments, and people with disabilities may forget to attend them, or simply give up going as they don’t see any improvement. You should make sure your loved one perseveres with their treatment, and attend appointments with them if you can, so they feel supported and happy.

Look at complementary therapies too

It’s not just medical advances that can potentially help a loved one. There are lots of complementary therapies and things that they can do to help their condition. For example, nature walks can help improve mental health in teenagers and all sorts of age groups. Gentle exercise such as swimming or yoga can also be good for both their mind and body.

Some other complementary therapies to try include:

  • Meditation and mindfulness
  • Chiropractic
  • Acupuncture
  • Going out and socialising
  • Taking vitamins
  • Switching to a prescribed diet plan

While these things can’t cure a disability, they can help with the physical or mental symptoms and their side effects. Your loved one may need some encouragement at first, as they may find it hard to get started, but once they see the benefits, it’ll be easier to help them continue.

Help them choose the best living situation

Not everyone with disabilities has the same needs and wishes when it comes to a place to live. If their disabilities are severe enough to need support, then they may want to live somewhere with 24/7 support or supported accommodation might be a better option if they don’t need too much support. People with disabilities may be able to apply for Commonwealth Rent Assistance for community housing, or Private Rent Assistance to help them rent on the open market.

Some other options may include living with family, or living in private accommodation, but with daily visits from carers to help them with tasks. It’s all about finding the right balance for your loved one and respecting their wishes.

Help them plan their future

Having a disability doesn’t necessarily mean your loved one can’t achieve their goals. You should consider sitting down with them and talking about what they want to achieve. Whether that’s going for a certain career, or learning something creative, or making a plan for travelling. It can be difficult for people with disabilities to plan their future sometimes, as they may think certain options aren’t open to them, but with a few adjustments they can do anything.

If you have a loved one with a disability, you’ll no doubt want them to lead the best possible life. That can mean needing to offer them extra help and support in a number of ways. While it can be difficult to help them access the right support, a little effort from you can make the process much easier and ensure they get what they are entitled to. Also, researching their condition can be a good way to help find the right therapy and treatments for them, so that they can reduce the side effects.

Image Credits: Kevin André

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