Quality Care for the Disabled
People with disabilities have some type of deficiency that does not allow them to carry out activities in a normalized manner or pattern. The disabling condition can be temporary or permanent since it can be present for various physical, mental, intellectual, or sensory reasons. Every disabled individual is a unique person, and depending on their specific and unique situation, the following post may offer some support.
Disabilities are divided into 3 types:
- Physical: Limitation, deformation, or absence of any limb (upper or lower) or the spine. Arthritis and muscular dystrophy are clear examples.
- Mental, intellectual, or psychiatric: The person suffers from neurological disorders and brain disorders. Depression, Alzheimer’s, Autism, Parkinson’s, Schizophrenia, etc. can lead to disabling situations as symptoms of the disease evolve.
- Sensory: Blindness, reduced vision, deafness, speech difficulties, etc.
There are several common risk factors that can cause the disabling condition:
- Social and contextual causes: Isolated accidents, wars, armed conflicts, etc.
- Health causes: Disability is caused by diseases or nutritional deficiency.
- Genetics and development: A disability may result from hereditary traits or during the development period of a fetus.
- Environmental causes: Environmental pollution problems, contact with toxic products, etc.
Other causes may result in disabilities too. A disability limits and impacts the life of the afflicted person in various ways. The most impacted factors are:
- Communication and social interactions
- Daily and household chores
- Learning and application of knowledge
- Difficulties in accessing the world of work
How to respect the disabled
People with some type of disability often face various obstacles to social integration, but these depend on the law and society. Still, they can participate actively and productively in life.
In order to remove these obstacles and respect disabled people, we must know the laws that support them and the rights determined by the UN. The Law on Equalization of Opportunities for persons with disabilities and the UN Convention on Rights establish:
- Right to life
- Right to equality and non-discrimination
- Right to inclusion and freedom
- Right to education
- Right of accessibility and free movement
- Right to health
- Right to recreation and tourism
- Right to work activities
How to have a conversation with the disabled
Depending on the person and their disability, having a conversation with a disabled person can sometimes require adopting a different way of communicating then what you are generally used to. There are some tips that can help you have a productive and respectful conversation with a disabled individual.
- Speak directly to the person, not their caregiver or guardian
- Make direct eye contact with her and have a real conversation
- Let him/her set the pace of the conversation
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions
- Don’t express pity or talk to him/her like they are a child
- Do not use offensive terms and avoid derogatory phrases or names such as crazy, deformed, retarded, clumsy, dumb, dwarf, etc.
Helping the Disabled
There are certain behaviors that can offend a person with a disability. For this reason, it is very important to learn the proper way to behave:
- Do not try to help without asking first: offer your help and give the opportunity to accept or reject it. Try to make the person feel as autonomous as possible.
- Don’t feel sorry or pitiful – this can be demeaning even when you mean no harm.
- Adapt the home to the person’s needs and remove dangerous obstacles.
- If they are open to outside help, hire a caregiver to help a disabled loved one with daily tasks and accompany them to do their day-to-day activities.
- Do not pet or play with a guide dog, as their work is very important and you can easily mislead them.
- Do not use the services for the disabled if you do not have a disability, as someone who really needs it may come.
- Do not lean on or play with the wheelchair of a person with reduced mobility.
Every disabled person is different depending on who they are as a person and what their disability is, and what the degree of severity is. Therefore, these tips, coupled with common sense, should aid you in caring for, respecting, and communicating with disabled individuals.