Many care home residents suffer a physical disability. It is important to know how to look after disabled patients and deal with the challenges faced, compared to more abled patients. There are many types of disability, which means as a carer it is important to understand your patients’ individual needs and abilities.
When caring for a disabled patient ensure that you are giving the person the best quality of life and supporting them to be as independent as possible. Always treat patients with respect and dignity, as they may be embarrassed that they need help with personal things, such as washing or using the bathroom.
It is important to undertake a moving and handling course to ensure safe transport and lifting of the patient; you will need to keep these skills up to date regularly. Ensuring the patients’ safety is the main priority always. This will help avoid personal injuries on the job, such as back strain.
Make sure patients are stimulated with activities, tasks or hobbies they enjoy. Boredom can lead to depression or feeling unfulfilled. If they can, get them doing something productive, such as chores or puzzles — this will make them feel valued and fulfilled once completed. Crafting is also a good hobby to try out as it will let them be creative.
It is important to look out for signs of depression or other mental illness too. It is a worrying fact that mental illnesses such as depression are common among disabled people. Be aware of the resources available to your patients, if they are at risk of mental illness such as counseling or group therapy courses. If you are concerned about a patient, it is important to say something as many sufferers will not express their feelings without prompting.
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