Having a disabled senior in your life has a unique set of challenges, from navigating the health care system to social situations. We may feel protective of the person and want to do things for them—sometimes without asking. While it’s ok to feel this, it’s essential that you remember that they are still their own person.
Here are a few tips on how you can advocate for the disabled senior in your life while helping them maintain their independence and self-esteem:
Ask first and follow their lead
It can be difficult for us to try not to take the lead when working with disabled seniors, but remember to follow their lead. Please don’t assume that they need help, and always ask first. If they request assistance, follow their lead, ask for specific instructions, and understand that they’re experts on their needs.
If they’re in a wheelchair, never start to push them without asking for permission first.
Speak directly and clearly, and listen
When speaking to disabled seniors, speak directly and clearly to them. When they answer, listen to what they have to say! Don’t interrupt or talk for them! If the person is deaf and has an interpreter, focus on them, not the interpreter. If they’re in a wheelchair, sit down so they don’t have to look up at you.
Understanding these skills will help you advocate for your senior when seeking services like assessments and doctor appointments.
Help them get aging in place assessments
It’s only natural that we want to age comfortably in our homes. If the disabled senior in your life has expressed this desire, help them get an aging in place assessment. This assessment helps determine the best options for their needs. This includes home modifications, transportation, identifying supports, and more. It also includes in-home help services.
At Delta Center, our aging in place assessments include:
- Mental health
- Environmental assessment
- Basic medical information
- Social relationships
- Fall risk evaluation
And more. Our qualified staff members have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree plus five years of social service experience.
Help them apply for adaptive equipment
Adaptive equipment is any tool, device, or machine that can help with a daily living task, like taking a shower or getting dressed. Adaptive equipment like phones helps seniors with disabilities be able to communicate and maintain some, if not all, of their independence.
Helping them apply for and get adaptive equipment when they need it will help them live their life comfortably and safely.
If you are interested in an aging-in-place assessment or adaptive equipment, please contact us for more information and pricing at 636-926-8761 or by email at [email protected].
At Delta Center, our services are always free to anyone in St. Charles, Lincoln, Warren, and St. Louis Counties who has Medicaid or receives Social Security Disability income.