Tuesday, October 11, 2016

My Loved One was Diagnosed with a Disability or Illness...What do I do now? ~ Physical Disability

Dealing with a PHYSICAL DISABILITY is different than dealing with mental illness.  Sometimes they go together, but today we are going to focus on the physical part.

As I've mentioned before, my son has Klippel-Trenauney Syndrome (KTS), which is a physical disability.  He was born with a large birthmark on his right leg.  That birthmark has led us on quite a journey and I know we have a long journey ahead.

Although he has a physical disability, his cognitive abilities are fine.  In fact, they are more than fine thankfully!  This means that he is very aware of what's happening to his body and what is happening around him.  He hears doctors say things and asks questions.  He notices that he can't keep up with other kids.

Including your loved one in their care if they are able (age appropriately) is crucial.  Some other things to consider are:

  • Are there any therapies needed? (Physical, occupational, developmental, etc)
  • Are there any specialists needed? (Orthotist, Dermatologist)
  • What equipment is needed? (Wheelchair, lifts, braces, orthotics, compression garment, etc)
  • Is their home accessible? (Can they get in and out of the house? Get around in a wheelchair if needed? Shower chair, hand rails, etc)
  • Are they eligible for disability? (Quite the process, but could be worth it)
  • Do they need a handicap parking tag? (Apply through the BMV)
  • Do they need a caregiver? (If it is you, can you lift them if necessary?)
  • What medications could help? (Is pain management needed?)

Next Up...Mental Illness

If this tip was helpful, check out the other posts in the series: Our StoryInternetGrievingLearn Your RoleSpouseChild in Home, Not Living in Home

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