If you have a loved one with a physical disability, you may have considered how you can increase their independence. Caring for somebody who has a disability of any sort can be emotionally and physically draining. As a carer, you can take comfort in the fact that with some help, your family member may be able to gain more independence which will allow them to build their confidence and hopefully lead to a better long-term outcome for both of you.

This will, of course, vary depending on the severity and other health issues that surround the physical disability. In this article, five simple tips are provided for how you can help promote independence for your loved one who has physical limitations.

5 Tips for Promoting Independence for Adults with Physical Disabilities

disabled adult

  • Home alterations

Support starts at home. For your loved one to be as comfortable as possible in their home, there may be some alterations that need to be made, especially in areas like the kitchen or bathroom. Mobility bathroom supplies can be put into place to help your loved one get in and out of the bath or sit on the toilet without requiring your assistance. Some aids can assist them with showering and drying themselves – these can be bars that are stuck onto the areas around the toilet and the shower or lightweight steps to help them get in and out of a bathtub.

  • Support

As a carer or family member, you will undoubtedly be doing your best to keep your loved ones’ spirits up. But with physical disabilities, it can be hard for somebody to remain in good spirits, especially if they are essentially housebound. It is worth looking online or within the local community for support groups where they can engage with other people who have similar physical issues. They may be able to form friendships and go out on day trips or even visit each other’s homes.

  • Mobility scooters

Following on from the idea of being out and about in the community comes the mobility scooter or wheelchair. If your loved one is already in a wheelchair, it can be worth investing in one that requires charging rather than manual intervention to move. Mobility scooters can help those with more limited physical issues to get out and about without any help from others which can boost their confidence with activities such as shopping or meeting friends.

  • Promote independence where possible

It is important when looking after anybody to promote independence where you can. If they can make tea for themselves, allow them to. If they can engage in daily tasks within their home, allow them to. Only step in when asked or if you feel that they need additional assistance. This can help to keep their self-confidence on a higher level, which is always beneficial.

  • Active involvement

Unless your loved one cannot make decisions about their care, always aim to involve them with their care plans and their daily routine. This will help them to feel more involved in their daily life and will likely keep them more engaged with services and healthcare providers.

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