A physical challenge can result from accident, birth, or illness. In some way, it impairs our physical being from doing what it would otherwise do. Maybe parts of our brain don’t function enough to get our bodies to do what physically they should be able to do. Here are ten tips to teach someone you love how to deal with a physical challenge.
1. Let them express their feelings. That is easier said than done. Let your loved one know it is okay to cry, shout, throw tantrums, get angry, and hate the world. Through our feelings we can learn acceptance of many things but we have to be willing to feel.
2. Don’t smother them. It is our custom as humans to feel that everyone wants to be with someone when dealing with a difficult situation. At times, we just want to be alone. Give your physically challenged loved one time with their own thoughts if they want it.
3. Don’t treat them with kid gloves. Always drawing attention to the physical challenge is likely to make your loved one feel worse. Acknowledge that they have and are suffering in a way you can’t understand but also don’t overcompensate by feeling guilty.
4. Ask them what they need. We can buy a whole host of equipment to make their home life and getting around easier, but they might not want it. Go to the source and see what aids they feel like using. They can always progress to other items.
5. Attend therapy with them. Loved ones who have recently suffered a physical challenge need rehabilitation to get back in the swing of things. Attend with them for moral support.
6. Taking care of another with physical challenges takes its toll on our minds and bodies. Find someone to talk to about the situation away from your loved one. Expressing such feelings within earshot can cause them to feel they are a burden to you.
7. Get them involved in family activities. It may be too soon to interact with outsiders, but a family gathering is usually safe enough.
8. Let them grieve but not for too long. A period of grief is normal. We all need time to adjust when things happen. A prolonged period of grief is detrimental. Get your loved one moving and interacting again.
9. Show and don’t tell. We tend to make apologies all the time when someone is different, as if we caused it. That guilt will eat you both up in time. Show love and support in what you do, not in what you say.
10. Keep the routine as near to normal as possible with necessary changes due to the physical challenges. A sense of normality lets your loved one know that everything hasn’t changed for them.
It is hard to know how to deal with a loved one who has a physical challenge. Sometimes they want our help and sometimes they don’t. Finding a comfort zone takes trial and error.
Enjoyed this post? Get future updates by email or RSS feed.