What kind of friend are you?

Dec 16, 2013
Tagged with: What kind of friend are you?

There are few life changing events that are as severe as an accident that results in a disability, and if you have a family member or friend who has been affected in this way, you want to do everything that you can to help them, so that they continue to enjoy a good quality of life. While the psychological effects of such an event can be very difficult to cope with, it can be much worse if the person in question is unable to cope with the demands of everyday life. While it can be tempting to encourage them to continue as usual with both their personal and professional life, their circumstances have dramatically changed, and there are a number of adjustments that need to be made to ensure that the person can in fact live an independent life.

Is a Move Needed?

Mobility can be a major issue after disability, and a person might need to get used to the fact that they now use a wheelchair or some sort of walking aid. This might require a new home to be found, particularly if the person previously lived in a two story home, or an apartment on a higher level that might not have an elevator. Giving up their home in order to be able to get in and out of it without assistance can be a major hurdle, but relocation to a new home that can be easily accessed is sometimes necessary. Somewhere that doesn’t have stairs or at least very few stairs is an ideal choice, and depending on the nature of the disability, a home that has wheelchair accessible ramps might be needed.

Rearranging the Home

Again, depending on the nature of the disability, everyday household tasks such as cooking and cleaning can be difficult. It might be necessary to lower countertops and tables, and relocate cooking and cleaning implements to lower shelves- sometimes new shelves need to be constructed, but sometimes it can just be a case of moving everything to a lower level and not using higher shelves at all. Simple things such as opening the refrigerator can become an epic task, but replacing a standard refrigerator and freezer with a lower level bar fridge and freezer can solve this problem. It’s important to rearrange a home so that a person with a disability can still live independently and focus on accomplishing tasks.

Being There

While you want to give your friend or family member as much help as you can, perhaps the most important thing is just being there for them. As you fill this role as a reliable friend or family member always stress the importance of independence. This can be one of the most important responsibilities that anyone can have. This focus on independence can ignite a person’s spirit to accomplish activities not even imagined. Staying active can also be a problem for anyone, people with disabilities are no different.  As a friend you can schedule a social activity or a night out with the guys. Schedule an exercising day with a friend, this could be that spark to motivate anyone to stay active and to see beyond any limitation. A pet can be a tremendous help in the area of friendship. Any type of pet can be an outstanding companion for anyone. If you have concerns with maintenance a small bird would be perfect in this area. Establishing a sense of purpose and accountability can help in getting anyone back into the swing of things. So what kind of friend are you?

 

Author: Lindsey Mcmahon