Finding out that a loved one has learning disabilities can be a difficult time for the whole family. There will be a lot of questions to answer and changes to be made, but that doesn’t mean that things can’t keep going on as happily as they were before. If you want to improve the life of your loved one with special needs, whilst keeping a sense of stability, then this is the guide for you.
Making life easier
After being diagnosed as a patient with special needs, your loved one may start to worry about how they will cope with daily living. Depending on the type of learning difficulty they have, there may be certain things that are now seemingly inaccessible, but this doesn’t have to be the case. There are many ways you can make life easier for your loved one, such as:
- Adapting living arrangements – If your loved one lives alone then you may want to make the necessary changes to their property, or offer for them to live with you. It’s important that wherever they are living there are certain things in the home to make life easier. This could be anything from buying a telephone to communicate with somebody with special needs to having rails installed throughout the house.
- Daily chores – What kind of chores need to be undertaken by your loved one, and how easy is it for them to complete them? This could be something such as washing the dishes that they may need help with, or perhaps going food shopping. Find out what they find difficult and then come up with ways to help.
- Doctors visits – Many patients who have been diagnosed with a learning difficulty will have to make regular trips to doctors and other health specialists. It is important to offer your support during this time, whether it is in the form of transport or just to accompany them.
These three points are the most vital ways to make daily life easier, although you will discover more along the way. It may be worth keeping a diary, in order to track progress and problems that you encounter.
One of the most difficult things to achieve when it seems as though life is against us, is trying to stay positive. There will be many questions you want to ask, about why this has happened to you and your loved one, but don’t let them build up as anger or upset. Staying positive will not only help you get through the tough times, but it will ensure your loved one stays positive too. If you’re really struggling then make sure you ask your doctor for support, perhaps in the form of counselling. If you are to become a carer then there are various carers charities that provide support, counselling and advice.
Knowing when to ask for help
Pride is something we all experience from time to time, which makes it difficult for us to admit when we need help. When it comes to looking after someone with special needs, it is absolutely vital that we ask for help when we need it. There may be circumstances that are hard for us to handle, or perhaps the situation at home is deteriorating. Try not to tackle everything by yourself and look for outside help, such as carers or nurses, when you really need it. The first rule to looking after someone else is to ensure we are looked after too.
We know that things may seem confusing and chaotic right now, but they will settle down. Soon you and your loved one will be feeling much more positive about the situation and be able to handle any issue life throws your way.
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