Homecare: Advice on Looking After People with Disabilities

Posted about 3 years ago

Caring for disabled people can be a tough task because their safety and dignity are in your hands, however, it is also a deeply satisfying job. Watching a client become happy, healthy, and confident as a result of your care is the ultimate reward. Here’s our advice on how to best care for those with disabilities.

Putting Health and Safety First

In homecare health and safety is a priority, so keep an eye out for the following when you visit a client’s home:

  • Poorly fitted rails and other inadequate safety equipment
  • Unsafe gas and electric appliances such as boilers and electric heaters
  • Blocked emergency exits
  • Hazards that could cause slips or falls
  • Abusive behaviour from others, like other care professionals or family members

By identifying these risks and notifying your branch staff, your clients will live safely and independently. It’s important to think of your health and happiness too. If you’re exhausted at work, you could overlook things that make the client’s home unsafe. Always keep your mental health in check and seek support from your management team if you need it.

Providing Dignity in Care

There are a few measures you can take to help maintain the dignity of a disabled person. You can offer them choices on a day-to-day basis to increase their feeling of self worth. By asking someone what they’d like for breakfast, which clothes they want to wear and other simple questions like this will help them feel empowered and more independent.

When it comes to serving meals, make sure that the food is presentable. Just arranging it neatly on a plate will make mealtimes feel dignified. Also, making sure that your client eats a wide variety of foods will make it more stimulating for them too.

Simply addressing the person by their name, sitting with them and maintaining eye contact helps to restore dignity. This is because each of these actions shows respect and consideration for the person you are looking after.

Finally, it’s important to conduct hygiene-related activities with sensitivity. The person you’re caring for may not be used to receiving personal care, so make sure you are considerate when you’re carrying out tasks like this.

Helping with the Little Things

Helping people with admin-based jobs such as keeping in touch with loved ones, responding to letters from local authorities, sorting out bills and other tasks that might be difficult for them to carry out can be very beneficial for the client. By keeping on top of these little things, you’ll help your client get practical tasks sorted and they’ll feel reassured by your assistance.
Combating Loneliness

According to the disability charity Sense, disabled people living in the UK are more likely to feel lonely than people without a disability. This is important as a care worker as you can help to make sure the client doesn’t feel alone or isolated. By simply encouraging them to attend local social events, taking them on day-trips out of the house or even just chatting with them during your call visit will help to stop them from feeling alone. Loneliness is a serious issue because it can…

  • Increase a person’s chances of developing dementia by 64% (Holwerda et al, 2012)
  • Heighten the chance of dying prematurely by 26% (Holt-Lunstad, 2015)
  • Lead to the onset of depression (Cacioppo et al, 2006)

By doing basic things to make sure your client isn’t cut off from the world, you will be a lifeline to them if they are feeling lonely.

Looking After Yourself

Taking care of yourself is also important and easy to forget about when you spend most of your time helping others. That’s why here at Allied Healthcare we understand that disabled people living in the UK are more likely to feel lonely than people without a disability and we ensure that all of our staff are well looked after. Find out more about joining our team and apply for your perfect job today.

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