Helping someone who can’t always help themselves can be very rewarding, but it isn’t always the easiest to accomplish. Maybe, no matter how many times you’ve helped or explained, your mother keeps getting viruses on her computer or your father keeps turning off the cable box. While frustrating, you still feel the desire to help them because you know they need it.
Mom isn’t the Only Person Who May Need Assistance
While your family members may be closer to the top of your priority list, there are others who may need help in their day-to-day lives. People with mental or physical disabilities might need help with tasks such as scheduling appointments, cleaning their home, or cooking meals. People with more severe disabilities may need help using the bathroom, eating, or getting from place to place. While these things may appear easily accomplished to some, they can be a struggle for others.
It’s possible it’s second-nature to you how to help others - which is great! But if not, it can seem like a daunting undertaking. Whether you’re helping someone with a disability or is elderly, where do you begin?
It can be frustrating to have to repeat an instruction or task, but if it’s frustrating for you as the caregiver, it is most likely just as frustrating, if not more, for the person who needs your support. Patience is crucial when helping others. The person you’re assisting may not understand you, or you may not understand them, which is why the following step is just as important.
Be a Good Communicator
Be direct, be respectful, and ask questions. Everybody wants to be understood and wants to understand. Being a good listener and having good communication skills will help you provide the care that is necessary.
Just because a person has a disability or is elderly does not mean they are incapable of helping themselves. When possible, wait for the person you’re helping to tell you what you can do to assist them. Keeping forms of independence is important because it helps retain the feeling of control of their own life and helps them to have a more positive outlook in general.
It's never a bad idea to be prepared for different situations. When helping people with disabilities, don’t just assume what they can and cannot do. There’s a saying in the autism community: if you’ve seen one person with autism, you’ve seen one person with autism.
Everybody has different capabilities. People with autism may have problems processing information as it comes to them, or they might not be able to separate your voice from the other noises and distractions in the surrounding environment. Just because they don’t respond to you in a timely matter does not mean they are ignoring you. Trying forms of communication other than spoken, like written or digital, may aid in how well they understand you and how they respond to you.
Sometimes it’s Best to Leave it to the Professionals
Even though we have the best intentions, we don’t always have the resources needed to help others. If this is the case, a home healthcare worker or an adult day care center may be necessary. These professionals are trained to help the disabled and elderly, and they have the resources readily available to provide the best care possible.
The selfless feeling of desire to help someone is amazing! Whether you’re helping an elderly acquaintance or a person who is disabled, preparing with these tips can help you help those who cannot help themselves.