Improving the lives of people with disabilities requires a collective effort from all of us. Here are 10 unique ways that you can help to improve the daily lives of people with disabilities, using a balance of different approaches that can promote inclusion, accessibility, and support.
Make sure you have the proper equipment and products in your home to make it livable and comfortable. Having the proper equipment and tools is helpful in helping your loved one maintain their independence and quality of life. Make the environment accessible with installs and modifications that will help to improve their navigation and daily life tasks.
While the weather sometimes makes this difficult, just spending 5 minutes outside will help boost serotonin and vitamin C. Fresh air, natural light, and time spent outdoors will improve mood and reduce stress (for both of you!)
There are many activities and games you can play that can foster a great relationship and help your loved one grow physically and mentally. Activities can include board games, arts and crafts, coloring, and so much more to help engage with your loved one and have some fun.
Exercise can take the shape of merely anything to promotes movement and a better mindset. Whether it’s playing a game, taking a walk outside, or even stretching - a small amount of exercise incorporated into the daily routine will help your loved one maintain both their physical and mental health.
Nutrition is key for both you and your loved one! So be sure to stick to a schedule of daily, nutrient-packed meals, timed throughout the day to provide lasting energy and the necessary vitamins to maintain their health, improve digestion, and improve mood and mental health.
Listen to their needs and understand what makes them feel good and what doesn’t. People with disabilities may have specific needs and preferences when it comes to their social interactions, physical touch, and personal space. Ask for their input and respect their boundaries in order to maintain their safe and supported environment.
No matter the age or disability, everyone has their boundaries. Make sure to listen to and respect them. And while the preferred physical distance varies from person to person, it’s crucial to respect this boundary and help to provide an environment where your loved one feels safe and comfortable.
Communication is key. Repeat if necessary and make sure your loved one understands what’s going on and why. Use clear, simple, and straightforward language to improve your communication with your loved one, and help them to understand what is happening, why it’s happening, and most importantly, that they will remain in a safe and secure environment.
Laughter goes a long way! It helps to ease tension and turns negative situations into positive ones. Tell a joke, play a game, and laugh a little. A sense of humor from both of you shows a sense of understanding of your loved one's needs and brings you together in any type of situation with a sense of common ground. This will help you to share an experience of mutual enjoyment, and foster a positive relationship.
Everyone needs alone time at some point. Click here for our digital download. Both you and your loved one could use a couple of minutes a day to just be. Having time alone to rest and reset is crucial to the well-being of both your loved one and yourself. This gives everyone a moment to recharge, while also promoting a sense of independence and control in your loved one's life.
Lifeworks-ACS is committed to advocating for the rights and well-being of individuals with developmental disabilities. With an experienced team of occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, and developmental specialists, we work together with people and their families that live with disabilities and provide a number of services that can help to improve daily function and lifestyle.
Learn more about Lifeworks-ACS’s team and services, by clicking here or schedule a free consultation with us today, to see how we can help you and your loved one.
Be part of our growing, dedicated team working on improving the lives of the children and adults we work with. Expand your professional skills in the areas of Early Intervention, School Based Therapy, Assistive Technology, Wheelchair Assessments, and Home Modifications. Occupational Therapist, Speech Therapist, Physical Therapist, BCBA Professionals, and Assistive Technologists are welcome to apply. Contact us to learn more.
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