Tips for Being a Caregiver to Someone with Intellectual Disabilities 

 Tips for Being a Caregiver to Someone with Intellectual Disabilities - Golden Rule IndustriesBeing a caregiver to someone with developmental disabilities can sometimes be a full-time job in and of itself. And if you’ve recently become one by way of a life-transition of an aging family member or perhaps the adoption or birth of your child, the newly added responsibilities might come as a surprise. But don’t worry! It’s perfectly normal to feel this way because even the most seasoned of caregivers to someone with intellectual disabilities can feel stressed out or overwhelmed on occasion. And that’s okay because it’s a difficult job taking care of yourself and the needs of someone else as well!  

As an organization that works to employ people with developmental disabilities, we understand the challenges that caregiving and advocacy groups can face. But, at the end of the day, we find that giving back to someone else is often what give us the most meaning and purpose in our lives. So, here are a few tips that we’ve put together for caregivers. Each one is meant to help you succeed and foster a sense of appreciation for the unique personalities of those in your care. 

Truly Educate Yourself and Stay Informed

Because intellectual disabilities exist across a spectrum of abilities and conditions, it’s a good idea to stay as informed as you can about your loved one’s specific circumstances. Social disorders like autism and genetic disorders such as down syndrome differ vastly between symptoms and outward characteristics, so work with your doctor to stay educated and informed. You can even check online for the latest research concerning medical breakthroughs, new findings, and recommendations for home care provided by trusted medical professionals. 

Take It One Day at a Time 

When you act as a caregiver for someone with intellectual disabilities you may wonder about their future opportunities. And although planning for the future is a good thing, it’s important not to let the anxiety or fear of the unknown affect your everyday life. Try to remember to stay present and enjoy the little pleasures that each day brings, such as enjoying a favorite activity or meal with your loved one. At the same time, at Golden Rule Industries in Oklahoma, we know that the future can be bright and fulfilling for people with disabilities, especially when it comes to career opportunities!

Communicate Your Responsibilities 

Although you’re a caregiver to someone with intellectual disabilities, you may also be someone’s spouse, hold a job, or be an active volunteer for an organization in your community. And while you shouldn’t feel like you have to let anyone down, it’s important to remember that you are human, and you can’t do it all! Communicate to others that you are an active caregiver and the responsibilities that this role involves. If others in your life know what’s going on, they’ll have the opportunity to be more understanding, responsive, and supportive when you ask for help. And they may even offer it themselves! 

Pencil in “You” Time 

While we’re on the subject of You and everything that You do in Your life, don’t forget that you need time to relax! Whether it’s 15 minutes a day or a few hours every weekend, make sure you schedule some time just to yourself. You can use that time to read a favorite book, exercise, or take a refreshing bath – whatever makes you most happy because that’s what it’s all about! 

Seek Support from Organizations 

Last, but not least, as we already mentioned, although you are probably amazing, it’s unrealistic to think you can do it all alone! When you seek support from organizations that benefit people with intellectual disabilities, you’ll open yourself up to more assistance, resources, and advocacy on behalf of you and your loved one’s success.  

And if you’re local to the Muskogee, Tahlequah, Wagoner, or Tulsa, Oklahoma areas, be sure to reach out to us about how we can help find your loved one with disabilities meaningful employment!  

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