Hillendale Home Care is licensed by the State of California to provide Certified Nursing training courses for Contra Costa and Alameda Counties.

What Differently-Abled Adults Wish You Knew

Walnut Creek senior caregiving

Learn how to better serve adults with disabilities in this article from the senior care experts at Hillendale Home Care.

Although the mental and/or physical challenges encountered by individuals with a disability may be apparent, many of us fail to fully comprehend the social struggles that often go hand in hand. As a result, we may tend to “talk down” to or make incorrect assumptions about the person.

Below are some suggestions to help you better and more respectfully communicate with disabled individuals in your life:

  • Never judge or assume anything about an individual’s disability. Just because a person is in a wheelchair doesn’t mean the person is paralyzed, and just because someone has a speech impediment doesn’t mean that person is intellectually impaired.
  • Talk directly to the individual and look him or her in the eyes when speaking.
  • If you can’t understand what the person is saying, never pretend that you do. It’s perfectly fine to ask again for clarification.
  • Respect personal boundaries and avoid leaning on the person’s wheelchair or walker, or touching a service animal unless you have been given permission to do so.
  • Never patronize.
  • Maintain patience.
  • It’s acceptable to offer assistance, but never insist or be offended if your offer is not welcomed.
  • Never assume the individual is unable to participate in an activity. Always give the person the benefit of the doubt. You may be surprised!

One great way to boost the independence of differently-abled adults is through technology. If the person is willing, suggest trying one or more of the following:

  • Digital Voice Recorder: These devices come in handy for those with cognitive impairments to provide reminders for things like phone numbers and medication instructions, or daily routine details such as when a favorite show comes on.
  • Motorized Chair Lifts: For people in wheelchairs as well as those with other mobility disorders, a motorized chair lift is a wonderful way to allow for getting up and down stairs safely.
  • Vibrating Alarm Clocks/Strobing Smoke Alarms: For someone who is deaf or struggles with hearing issues, alarm clocks and smoke alarms that only make noise are of little help. A vibrating alarm clock uses a sensor that can be placed under the bedsheets which vibrates when the alarm goes off, allowing the person to feel the alarm instead. In the same way, a smoke alarm equipped with a strobe light allows the hearing impaired person to see the alarm and get to safety.

If you’d like to learn more about joining the Hillendale team as a CNA and improve quality of life for a senior or differently-abled adult in our California community, contact our CNA and HHA School by completing this simple form!

Understanding and Caregiving for Adults With Disabilities

Adults with DisabilitiesAdults with disabilities not only face physical challenges, but social ones as well. As a result, they may often feel as though people are “talking down” to them or making incorrect assumptions about their abilities.

The tips below can help professional caregivers communicate better and more respectfully with adults with disabilities:

  • Avoid judgment about a person’s disability. Just because someone is in a wheelchair, that doesn’t mean he or she is paralyzed, and just because a person has a speech impediment doesn’t mean he or she has a cognitive impairment.
  • Instead of speaking to the person’s family member or caretaker, speak directly to the disabled person and make eye contact with him or her while speaking.
  • If it is difficult to understand what the person is saying, ask him or her for clarification. Don’t just pretend that you understood.
  • Always respect the person’s personal space. Avoid leaning on assistive devices or touching a service animal unless you receive permission to do so.
  • Don’t patronize or talk down to the person.
  • Exercise patience.
  • Offer assistance, but also respect the person’s ability to perform tasks on his or her own.
  • Do not assume the person cannot participate in an activity. Always give him or her the benefit of the doubt. You may be surprised!

Additionally, Hillendale’s caregivers know that remaining safe and happy in the home is important to clients with disabilities. Here are just a few ways our CNAs can improve the quality of life for seniors and those with disabilities.

Exercise

Exercise and activity are important for maintaining the best health. Work with the physicians and other care providers to devise and implement an exercise plan that will best benefit the disabled person.

Meals

A healthy diet is extremely important for everyone, regardless of ability, but often, disabled individuals need to adhere to special diets. With guidance from the physician, caregivers can create a meal plan that will best meet the client’s needs.

Transportation

One of the biggest benefits for people who cannot drive themselves is to have a caregiver who can help them stay active in the community by driving them to and from appointments, accompany them on public transportation, run errands, provide transportation to social events and enjoy fun day outings.

At Hillendale Home Care, we take great care to treat each of our Walnut Creek area home care clients with the utmost respect and dignity. If you would like to learn more about becoming a Hillendale Home Care CNA, click here for more information.