If you are a family caregiver taking care of someone with a developmental disability, you may encounter numerous challenges when balancing your personal and caregiving responsibilities. At Future Expectations Community Care Services, a provider of home and community care in Winnfield, LA, we want to provide you with useful guidelines that can help keep you and the people you are taking care of safe and healthy.
- Tip #1: Educate Yourself
We firmly believe in the famous proverb, “Knowledge is power.” The more that you know about your family members’ condition, the more you will be able to understand their needs and provide the appropriate help that they require. It will also help you make more informed health decisions when it comes to their care. Do your research, talk to their doctor, and speak with other people involved in their care.
- Tip #2: Be Their Advocate
Be your family members’ advocate. As much as possible, familiarize yourself with the Americans with Disabilities Act and any other state and national provisions applicable to your situation. By advocating for your disabled loved ones’ needs, you can make certain that they are getting what they are due and that they are not being discriminated for their disability.
- Tip #3: Empower Them
Some people with disabilities may feel hopeless, useless, and depressed. They may also feel angry at their circumstances (especially people who have recently been disabled after an injury or illness) and they may feel like giving up. In order to help them avoid these feelings, empower them in every way that you can. Help them focus on what they can do and not on what they can’t do. Celebrate milestones with them (e.g. if they are going through rehab and have made an accomplishment) and encourage them to not give up on their progress.
- Tip #4: Get Support
There may come a time when you can no longer meet the needs of your loved ones. When this time comes, don’t hesitate to get support from family members, friends, and care professionals. Getting support also means getting help for yourself. Caregiving can be overwhelming emotionally, so consider joining support groups where you can talk to people who can empathize with what you are going through.
- Tip #5: Take Care of Yourself
When you are taking care of someone, you may end up wholly focusing on them and you may end up neglecting your own needs. This can lead to caregiver burnout – a state of total physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion. In order to avoid burnout, make sure to take care of yourself. Don’t skip your health appointments, take a break, don’t ignore signs of sickness, keep your social connections with friends and family outside caregiving, get enough rest, and delegate caregiving tasks to other people – don’t try to take responsibility for everything.
If you need community care services in Natchitoches, LA, we are always available to help you. You don’t have to do everything on your own – allow us to lend a helping hand. Contact us at 318-648-9697 / 877-648-9697 for more information.