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Freedom Through Movement
By Kate Shuman, Staff Writer

(Page 2 of 2)  

As a caregiver, itís important for you to help your loved one carefully pace their re-entry back into the physical world. Your loved one may have high expectations of what their physical abilities should be at the moment; thatís not to say that over time their physical abilities wonít improve. Itís best for your loved one to realize what they would like to do in the way of physical activities, by first looking at what they want to do, then they need to ask what it is they can do and what they are willing to do. Finally, they need to know how they might do a certain activity or hobby. With wheelchair accessibility becoming available in more and more public recreation areas, there are many more activities to choose from, so by carefully researching your loved oneís interests and options, youíll both help to create a better experience the first time out.

Among the many rewards that come from being involved with recreational activities and hobbies is the increase of self-esteem given to both the caregiver and their loved one. Also, your loved one, over time, will feel more willing to take chances and able to tolerate stress better. Loved ones can also receive immediate, positive feedback from accomplishing a desired task or activity. By our loved one going out into the community, the general public becomes familiar with them, associating them with their sport or activity, rather than with their disability. In turn, this helps to increase public awareness and acceptance of those with physical disabilities, allowing them to be included in whatever activities they so desire. Returning to the physical world doesnít have to be impossible, but instead, it can be a brand new adventure for caregiver and loved one alike, creating a tremendously powerful and personal experience for both of you, bringing you even closer to one another, further strengthening and solidifying the impenetrable bond of caregiver and loved one.


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