How Disabilities Can Change Your Family Life

by Editorial Board on September 4, 2010 · 1 comment

in Living with a Disability

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Change can be good, but it can also be exhausting or hard to take.  Many of the biggest problems people face with their new disability is dealing with change.  Even if these changes have been forced upon you and your family, how you respond to your new situation is within your control.

Stay positive, do not allow the fear and doubt in your life to control your thoughts.  Take each day as an opportunity to remain in control of your family’s future by continuing to plan for your future and take action.  Although your options may have changed now due to your disability, you still have options, and you still need to be a leader in your family by deciding which path to take, and then taking action.

There is no shame in getting help when you need it.  As a leader in your household you need to be doing everything you can to keep the household happy and healthy.  If reaching out and getting help for yourself or your family is needed, then look for help and make an appointment.

Talk With Your Spouse

Your spouse and you have likely built a relationship that has changed to some extent over time.  Now that you are disabled maybe the responsibilities that each of you take on should be discussed again.  Have an open discussion with your spouse to let them know you want to continue to contribute around the house, but with some changes to accommodate you.

As long as your spouse feels you are doing as much as you can to help the household they will be grateful for your help.  Offer to do other chores within your abilities that your spouse currently does if you can no longer do some things you used to do.  See if you can get an older child to do some of the things you used to do so that everything you are unable to do doesn’t need to be done by your spouse.  Take responsibility for making sure the child does this work, so that you are effectively getting it done, like you used to, even if someone else is doing the task.

Get Help from Your Kids

Encourage your children to be more helpful around the house.  Let them know you are still there for them in all the important areas, but that you need their help now in a few areas where you didn’t need them before.  Most children will understand, especially if you are thankful for their help.

Stay Positive, Continue to Lead Your Household

Coping with change is going to be a topic that you and your family members need to get familiar with.  You may even get a book or two on the subject from the library to get some more ideas.  Living with a disability will certainly bring change to a household, but not all of the changes have to be bad.  Some changes will be challenging to deal with, but some can bring your family closer together.  Stay positive and look for the silver lining in everything.

Continue to be a leader in your household.  Find a way to make the best out of your situation, even if it is sometimes very hard to do, or even if it requires outside help.  When your family sees you continuing to take care of them, despite the changes you have been through, they will be impressed and you will continue to get their respect.

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