Friday, August 16, 2013

Our Turn To Care For You

Over the 22 years of my life, I had never had to truly care for someone else other than myself it sounds selfish but it’s true. That all changed as the years flew by and I recently started to realize the aging and memory loss of my grandma. Even though she lives with my parents, she has always taken care of me and practically raised my brother and me when we were kids. It is our turn to care for her as she cared for us.

But what qualifies someone to be a caregiver and how do new caregivers learn what to do? Do they learn their skills from someone else or do they learn as they go?  Well it’s a little of both. Caregivers come in all different shapes and sizes, whether you are a spouse caring for a spouse or a sibling caring for another sibling.

I recently read in a Disability Scoop article that stated, “For those who are the primary caregiver for their brother or sister, three-quarters said the role is a full-time job.” The realistic expectation is that 75% of current caregivers believe this to be true and 55% of future caregivers believe it is a full-time job. Being a caregiver may limit your full potential and attention  or make you feel spread too thin at times, but there are services and resources that help you jump those hurdles…Easter Seals is one of them.

We try to help keep families together and take some of that stress off of caregivers. We give you the time to do the simple tasks you need to get done, like laundry, groceries, house cleaning, etc. It is our turn to care for you because you care for others. #SiblingsMatter #Care4Others +Easter Seals Florida Facebook 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

#WhatWeDo Wednesday

Sometimes words can't express #WhatWeDo so I decided to show you through imagery. Hope you enjoy the beautiful faces of Easter Seals Florida. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

10 Tips on Disability Etiquette

Before coming to Easter Seals, I really didn't know how to engage in conversation when talking to an individual with a disability. Would I be sensitive to their emotions? How do I engage in an appropriate conversation?  It was an uncomfortable feeling at first, but then I realized that it was no different than any other individual.

We are never taught in school the “proper protocol”, so where do we learn it from? Easy. Any individual or organization that has expertise or experience with working with children or adults with disabilities, but in case you don’t get the opportunity to do so in the near future, I can give you 10 tips on Disability Etiquette:

  1. If you don’t lean or hang on people, then probably best if you didn't on someone’s wheelchair. Wheelchairs are an extension of personal space.
  2. When talking with a person in a wheelchair for more than a few minutes, place yourself at the wheelchair user's eye level to spare both of you a stiff neck.
  3. When you offer to assist someone with a vision impairment, allow the person to take your arm. This will help you to guide, rather than propel or lead, the person.
  4. When talking with someone who has a disability, speak directly to him or her, rather than through a companion who may be along.
  5. Relax. Don't be embarrassed if you happen to use common expressions, such as "See you later" or "I've got to run", that seem to relate to the person's disability.
  6. To get the attention of a person who has a hearing disability, tap the person on the shoulder or wave your hand. Look directly at the person and speak clearly, slowly and expressively to establish if the person can read your lips.
  7. When greeting a person with a severe loss of vision, always identify yourself and others who may be with you. Say, for example, "On my right is Andy Clark" etc.
  8. When directing a person with a visual impairment, use specifics such as "left a hundred feet" or "right two yards".
  9. If you would like to help someone with a disability, ask if he or she needs it before you act, and listen to any instructions the person may want to give.
  10. Give whole, unhurried attention when you're talking to a person who has difficulty speaking. Keep your manner encouraging rather than correcting, and be patient rather than speak for the person. 

Do you have any other tips to share? If so, post them below in our comments sections and share the knowledge. 

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