A Caregiver’s Role
For many patients in wheelchairs, caregivers have the potential to improve their quality of life by making their everyday experiences more pleasant while addressing their needs. Caregivers, be it a professional or a family member, indeed play a crucial role in ensuring individuals feel comfortable and happy, in spite of the current condition they’re in.
Being a caregiver is a major responsibility. It’s important to display a positive attitude and remember the challenges that the person you are caring for is going through.
There are sure to be moments when patients are having bad days and may lash out or shut down. Try not to take it personally and make the effort to be empathetic and think about how people deal with their struggles in their own way. Think of creative ways that would cheer them up and bring them back into a positive mood.
Whenever you are out with an individual you are a caregiver for, be sure to address the destination’s accessibility and disability service availability ahead of time. Make sure you have any needed medications, snacks, and emergency contacts at hand and have a plan in case a medical emergency should come about.
Whenever the patient is sitting in the wheelchair, caregivers should keep them safe by applying the wheelchair’s brakes firmly, preventing any unexpected accidents. It’s also important to be aware of the individual’s energy level to gauge when an activity may be overdoing it.
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Making Sure the Patient is Sitting Comfortably
Many patients must sit in their wheelchair for long periods of time, which can lead to conditions such as pressure sores. Providing adequate back support and utilizing the appropriate seat cushions can make all the difference. Cushioning should focus on pressure redistribution as well as posture to keep patients comfortable for longer periods of time.
Communicating Whenever Possible
Being a caregiver is more than just a set of given tasks. Communication between patient and caregiver is important. Developing a relationship with open communication allows patient needs to be clear and dissatisfaction can be addressed. Caregivers can benefit from asking questions and discussing improvements, where adjustments can be made, leading to a better overall experience. As mentioned before, empathy can go a long way in communication.
Arranging Accessible Rides
As a caregiver, you may be responsible for arranging wheelchair-accessible transportation for your patient or family member. Make sure to use a trustworthy company with great reviews and experience working with people that utilize wheelchairs, like BriteLift.
BriteLift’s Accessible Trips Around Chicagoland and SE Wisconsin
Additional passengers ride free in ADA Compliant BriteLift vehicles. So caregivers and family can ride comfortably with those using wheelchairs, 24/7.
Book multiple rides in advance by using BriteLift’s online booking tool or through our call 24/7 for customer service. Download the BriteLift App for easy management of ride booking, tracking and payments.