How to Provide for a Loved One with Limited Mobility
Living with any sort of disability takes time, patience, and effort. If your loved one has recently suffered from some sort of injury or illness that has robbed them of their ability to function like they once did, you will have to be with them every step of the way. Dealing with a disability is one thing, but learning to accept it is another. Whether your loved one has only recently been limited in their mobility, or they have had it their whole lives, it is always important that you know what is out there, how you can help, and that you follow this guide:
Make Their Living Situation Easier
Not being able to take care of yourself and be independent is often the most frustrating aspect of having limited mobility. It is for this reason, however, that there are a lot of tools to help make tasks such as eating and drinking easier. Go through with your loved one to choose the best adult sippy cup and other eating and drinking tools to allow them to care for themselves and regain some independence and dignity.
Understand Their Situation
The first step to helping a loved one who suffers from limited mobility is to both understand the cause of it and their perspective. There is a big difference, for instance, between someone who has suffered from a stroke and someone who has cerebral palsy. Stroke patients, for example, will have had led a life with full motor function, and the limited ability following a severe stroke can be frustrating. Stroke affects people in many different ways, which is why you should never assume someone else’s condition. Understand what symptoms to look out for, yes, but always take your cue from your loved one.
Install Aids around Their or Your Home
Mobility aids include things like a chair lift to the second floor, a ramp outside your home, and items like walkers or even electric wheelchairs to help make it easier for them to get around in comfort. The more these tools help them be independent, the better everyone involved will be. Just remember to consult a specialist on what will, and will not be useful. As you will want your insurance to provide for these tools, they must be deemed a necessity.
Make Key Items Easy to Reach
It might make sense for you to keep all of your dry goods on the top shelf, but it can mean placing them out of reach for a person with limited mobility. By keeping key items just for them within easy reach you can help them stay as independent as possible. If they enjoy tea, ensure the tea, milk, sugar, and cup are all on a lower shelf where they don’t need to bend down or reach up. Perhaps invest in a coffee machine that provides hot water at the push of a button. The exact techniques you will do for them will depend entirely on their limits. If they have trouble walking, then what you will do will be different if they have tremors in their hands.
When in doubt, ask what you can do. Even if they don’t necessarily know the answer, they can tell you what is bothering them so that you can work on the problem together. Limited mobility is a challenge, yes, but it is not insurmountable with the right tools and lifestyle changes.