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Crucial things to remember when working in disability care

If you are someone that is working in disability care it can undoubtedly be extremely challenging at times. This refers to everyone who is required to care for someone with any form of impairment. Whether you are a professional working in disability care or simply a family member or friend who is helping out someone they love, the challenges presented can sometimes become overwhelming.

It is important that you learn to manage these feelings of frustration so that you can always put your best foot forward in caring for the individual with the disability. Here are a few things to remember when it comes to disability care.

Basic tips

When it comes to working in the world of disability care, there are a few things to keep in mind. Most importantly it is important to treat them with the respect that they deserve and on a broad scale, treat them no differently to anyone else.

  • Limit asking the person about their specific impairment unless it is necessary.
  • Understand that it may take them a little longer to respond to things, do things or say what they want to say. Provide them with the extra time necessary.
  • Know that many of your offers or questions may be ignored or refused. Be patient in these scenarios and you may need to rephrase your offer or question.
  • Like with any person, maintain your sense of humour in disability care and if you think that you have embarrassed the individual, simply apologise.

Communication

Whilst the above points do cover some elements of communication, there are a few more important things to remember when you are working in disability care.

  • Use your normal tone of voice and try not to raise you voice at any time unless you cannot otherwise be heard.
  • Attempt to shake hands with the person regardless of their impairment. This shows your respect and in most cases a left hand handshake is acceptable should it be necessary. If they are unable to shake hands due to their condition then simply smile and meet them with a spoken greeting.
  • Make sure you pay them the respect they deserve by looking into their eyes and not talking down to them. Also, ensue that you address them when speaking and not just the others helping with the disability care.
  • If you don’t understand what the person said don’t pretend that you understood it. Ask them to repeat what they said or write it down on a piece of paper so that you can understand.

Behaviour

Every disability will impact each individual differently even if they have the same impairment. When you are working in disability care it is important to keep this in mind so that you can understand their behaviour during certain situations. However, this doesn’t mean that you should let all behaviour continue if it is not appropriate or polite. Finding the balance between teaching them standard etiquette and allowing those people with a condition to deal with various things is crucial to your role.

When it comes to your behaviour it should be much the same as with any person. However, it is important to remain positive as some people with various mental conditions may be more sensitive to their environment in terms of stress and other emotions. This is where asking them what is going to make them the most comfortable is important and adhering to their requests.

Ultimately, the biggest thing to remember, as mentioned previously, is that you must treat the individual with respect as you would anyone else. Take a little bit of care in how you behave and have a slight increase in your patience but the majority of the disability care is facilitating a positive and supportive environment.