Foundations Family Counseling Blog - How to Help a Loved One With a Disability (1)

How to Help a Loved One With a Disability

Assisting a family member with a disability can seem like a complicated task. You may feel helpless to the situation and there’s no way that you can help that individual. There are usually ways that you can help those around you and this is no exception. There are several ways that you can assist your loved one who has a disability.

1. Perform Domestic Tasks

One task that you can do for a disabled loved one is to offer to do some domestic services for them. If the individual has children, you can ask if they can provide babysitting services for that person. You can also help with other domestic tasks such as cooking and cleaning. Your loved one will surely appreciate your assistance with these chores and your help will take a load off of your loved one’s mind by reducing their level of stress.

2. Provide Transportation

Providing transportation to your disabled family member or loved one is another way that you can positively assist them. You can offer rides in your van if they have a wheelchair. You can also give the person rides to or her therapy treatments or mental healthcare appointments during the week. Even using your vehicle to take them out for a ride just to have some fun and get out of the house could be beneficial to their mental and emotional health. There are many ways that you can improve someone’s life just by being there for them when they need some extra help in their life.

3. Assist Your Family Member With Legal Processes

You can help your family member with a number of legal processes that they may need. Disability benefit applications are one example. You can help to guide your loved one through the process of applying for benefits. You can also help them with completing an application or appealing an adverse decision if need be. They may need to obtain legal services and counselors who can help with the process as it can be complicated. See if they need help filling out medical documents and applications as well. Sometimes, people need to request financing for their medical procedures and equipment. You can be the perfect helper in that regard.

4. Help the Individual Find Employment

Another way that you can help a disabled friend or family member is by helping them to seek employment. Many options are available as employers are now more willing than ever to accommodate persons who have disabilities. The ADA laws and other federal guidelines prohibit employers from discriminating against applicants and employees based on disabilities. Therefore, you can help your loved one to apply for jobs if that person is willing or wanting to work.

Try helping them create compelling resumes and cover letters or coach them on the best ways to answer questions for a job interview. Look into disability job boards online or in your area to see what type of availability there is. Additionally, you can act as his or her cheerleading team and encourage them to keep trying until they land a job. This is an area where you can be a huge support system for someone who needs such support.

5. Be Encouraging and Offer Emotional Support

Emotional support is a gift that is always priceless and never costs anything. You can be a huge help to a disabled family member just by listening to that person when they need to vent about their day or their condition. You can be the shoulder to cry on or the friendly ear that your family member needs. Don’t ever think that you need money to help someone who is in need. Oftentimes, a warm heart and the true desire to assist that person will go much further.

There’s always a way that you can help. Communication is the key, however. Always ask your loved one what or if they need help. You can use some of the tips mentioned above to be a light in that person’s life whenever they need it. For more information about how to help a loved one with a disability, contact us.