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Power Caregiving

By Mary Z. McGrath, Ph.D.

(Page 5 of 6)

Do they need bright tape to signal the steps into the garage? Where is the best spot to place furniture for easier passage and optimal safety? What kind of remodeling do you need to do to your home to ensure they can remain there for a longer time? What kind of automobile would best suit their needs? What kind of adaptive equipment would help them read, write and generally communicate in a more clear way?

What changes need to be made in lifestyle and schedule to accommodate your
loved one’s legitimate needs and to ensure their safety and opportunity? By thinking and acting with flexibility, you apply valuable work skills to the benefit of the person whose needs require the willingness of others to change and adapt.

6.   Interpreting Situations: Have your antennae out wherever you go on your loved one’s behalf. Ask yourself ways you can include them in social exchanges through cueing and leading questions. How can you use your own mobility as well as visual, auditory and social skills to bridge areas where they experience challenges in function? Read the weather report and consider how temperature and moisture conditions will impact their function in places you plan to be in a given day. Adapt their clothing and use of assistive devices accordingly. Continuously consider how what is said, done, set up, or arranged will either benefit or impede his or her optimal function in any given location. For example, when being guests in someone’s home,  ask ahead about bathrooms, steps, rugs, or food served. Offer to bring special food or items to make the visit go more smoothly. This kind of social interpreting will help to promote your loved one’s success in a range of circumstances.


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