A disability can easily put a dampener on the way you live and enjoy your life, especially if it’s come about suddenly and unexpectedly. Fortunately, there are ways that family and friends can intervene to help minimise the impact.
How are disabled people vulnerable?
Disabled people may find themselves unable to perform tasks that they once found straightforward. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy and frustration. They might find it more difficult to get around, which can lead to social isolation. They might also find it more difficult to earn a living or to manage their finances in the face of new expenses and a cost of living crisis.
Take up a hobby
Disabled people might find themselves prevented from doing a particular form of physical exercise, so it’s often a good idea to help them to find new ones. Even if the new hobby isn’t physical, it can provide a great way to occupy yourself during the day. Something like painting miniatures, for example, might be very therapeutic.
Adopt a pet
The company of a cat or a dog can help to ameliorate that feeling of loneliness. The act of caring for a cat or dog, moreover, can help disabled people to persuade themselves that they are still capable of taking on responsibilities and help to stave off depression. If you’re thinking of buying a pet for a disabled person, then don’t let it be a surprise – let them know, and see if they’re really prepared for the new arrival.
Disabled people might find themselves prone to preferring convenience in the kitchen. Where this impacts the quality of the food being prepared there, it’s a problem. Making pre-prepared meals ahead of time can often help to make life much easier.
Get out more
Make a regular point of getting outside. Exposure to sunshine, and plant life, has a proven positive effect on mental well-being. Make this a specific commitment to spend a given portion of the week outdoors, following a particular pursuit, – whether it’s landscape painting or wheelchair basketball.
Pick up the phone
Don’t rely on text-based communication with a disabled person (or, indeed, any kind of person). Make a point of being available for a chat at a particular time every day, and use it to touch base. And make sure to arrange in-person social time, too.
Having access to cash can help to reduce stress, especially if you’re looking for a job or a car after having become disabled. This is where the right loan can make a big difference. Do your research before taking one out.
If you’d like to support disabled people in general, rather than one person in particular, then the best way to do it is to commit to a good charity supporting disabled people and their needs. Set up a regular direct debit.
Tommy Williamson did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.