When someone you are close to is diagnosed with a disability, it can be very difficult for you to cope. It is very important to realize that any of us may become disabled. In this article we’ll be talking about coping with a disability of a loved one.
We do not know from one minute to the next what awaits us. In our physical therapy Denver practice, we have had to watch as family members and friends deal with their loved ones becoming disabled. We are going to share the things that we have learned from those experiences in this article.
These things may or may not assist you in coping with a disability when it is not yours, but it could be a start….
When coping with someone else’s disability, it is essential to understand that for the disabled person, there was no choice. No one chooses to become disabled.
This is just as much of a surprise for them as it is for you. It is vital that – initially – you put your thoughts to the side and focus on the newly diagnosed. They will need someone to talk to, someone that will listen.
They are probably not looking for any advice; they will just simply want to discuss what has happened in their life and sort things out. It is best to simply listen, and allow them to sort things out on their own mentally before trying to push in your opinion.
Once you have been informed as to why your loved one has been diagnosed as “disabled”, you should research their disability thoroughly. This will allow you to better understand what the individual is experiencing.
Additionally, they may not want to do the research themselves, or may not have the means to investigate their disability. If you research the condition that they were diagnosed with, you may be able to educate them and provide some insight on the disability.
This has proven very helpful to many people. Many people seem more comfortable hearing things from someone that they know well, than from hearing it from a professional.
It is important to realize when coping with a disability when it is not yours that the person who is experiencing it may experience a wide range of emotions. They may feel anger, resentment, hostility, sadness, remorse, and various other feelings.
They may seem hateful or angry towards you and may even lash out at you. You should expect this, and learn to overlook it if it happens.
They do not mean to take it out on you, but this is often better than them taking it out on themselves. The closer relationship you have with the person, the higher chances are that you will be lashed out at, or need to help the disabled walk through their emotions.
Many people tend to give up or wonder what use trying is after they are disabled. When coping with a disability when it is not your own, you must learn to support the individual. One of the many ways that you can offer your support is to motivate the individual to remain as independent as possible.
If someone is, down and does not want to do anything because they were recently diagnosed with a disability, you should encourage them to continue living as they were before.
Let them know that life does not have to change completely and they should remain loyal to their responsibilities until they are no longer able to. They will thank you for this in the end.
People with disabilities may fall to the state of mind that they do not want to go anywhere or do anything. If this is the case, you should try to encourage them to engage in activities.
You may drive them to the store with you, or take a walk in the park together. You should always make yourself available to the disabled individual.
Many people will start to stay away once the disability is established because they are frightened by it, or do not know how to deal with it. This is why you should stick around and try to be as helpful as you possibly can.
If you find that you, or the disabled, starts to become depressed, you should seek care. Many disabled people attend counseling. This is covered in their disability coverage. You should motivate them to seek professional help and offer to go along with them.
If you are in need of professional help to cope with a disability that is not yours, you should seek it. There is nothing to be ashamed of when asking for help.
You can cope with a disability of a loved one in numerous other ways. The above information is just the tip of the iceberg on ways that you can cope. You should also realize that it is ok to take time for yourself and get a break every now and then.
There is no reason to feel guilty just because you need a little time away.
Back to Motion offers many programs and treatments for the newly disabled. You should encourage your loved one to engage in these therapies as an effective coping strategy.