CARE GIVING AND PHYSIOTHERAPY IN PEOPLE LIVING WITH DISABILITY
Quite a lot has been discussed about caregivers in our earlier posts, but there is a significant difference in the work of a regular caregiver and one that caters for people with physical or mental disabilities. For the latter, the amount of effort multiplies, making the task more challenging than ever. Caregivers looking after people living with disabilities are usually well-trained in their specific areas. If they have to look after a patient with physical disabilities, they will need to be knowledgeable about diseases that lead to the disability. In like manners, if they need to look after people with mental challenges, they will need to be trained in handling patients on a psychological level.
Care giving in people with disability is very important, as it makes day to day activities very easy and in the long run equates a good quality of life with little or no restriction to achieving their goals. Caregivers need to be compassionate and patient so that they can understand their clients needs, wants, emotional imbalance, pain, grief and so many other problem. For someone living with disability to fully enjoy the care of a professional and well trained caregiver, the carer must understand and appreciate the important roles of physiotherapy in disabilities.
Duties of a caregiver in people living with disability
- Meet patients’ doctors and family members to determine the extent of physical or mental disability.
- Create plans to fulfill patients’ physical and emotional demands and ensure their comfort on a constant level.
- Engage patients in conversation to understand their physical and mental challenges.
- Provide physical assistance such as help with washing, bathing, toileting, and grooming
- Plan and prepare nutritious meals according to each patient’s health plan.
- Assist in partaking meals and ensure that medication is administered in a time-efficient manner.
- Provide emotional support, by counseling patients and encouraging them to be positive.
- Handle groceries and bill paying activities and ensure that family members are made aware of all transactions.
- To observe patients constantly and ensure that any changes in physical or emotional health are communicated to the family or doctor.
- Assist patients to doctors’ appointments and recreational activities and encourage them to participate.
- Must be able to handle emergency situations with tact by ensuring that First Aid and CPR procedures are handled appropriately.
- Assist with therapeutic procedures such as massages and physical therapy
- Ascertain that patients’ surroundings are kept sanitized, clean and comfortable at all times.
Physiotherapy in Disability Management
Physiotherapy is a branch of rehabilitation therapy. It involves the development, maintenance and restoration of maximum mobility, functional ability and improved quality of life in persons who have been affected by disability arising from injury or illness of any kind.
Taking an adult with Cerebral Palsy (CP) as a case study, Physiotherapy plays an important role in maintaining available functional ability and limit further tightness of the extremities. Physiotherapy treatment may include exercises on how to increase or maintain:
- Mobility, such as walking and standing without an aid
- The length of tightened muscles
- The range of movement of your joints
- Stamina and exercise tolerance. This can also help to reduce fatigue.
- Balance to help improve confidence and reduce the risk of falling
- Positioning to achieve the best posture possible
- Supportive devices, such as a wheelchair, orthotic devices or other adaptive equipment
- Hydrotherapy treatment
Physiotherapy treatment will help live the best life possible for anyone living with disability by maximizing the potential. It can also help to maintain and, where possible, improve individuals functional abilities.