We call developmental disabilities to any condition that creates an impairment in essential areas of day-to-day life, such as physical capacity, learning skills, language and communication, and behavior. Patients with developmental disabilities are born this way and are usually diagnosed later in life when parents realize there’s something wrong with his child and the way he interacts with his or her environment.
The impact of developmental disabilities usually lasts throughout a lifetime and changes the way children attend school, live, and work. These individuals need constant support, even as an adult, in order to do simple things such as cooking and dressing. However, the role of the caregiver is also important, and in taking care of adult patients with developmental disabilities, we also need to pay attention to stress signs in the caregiver and what to do about it.
As mentioned previously, developmental disabilities are often detected during childhood. This is because there are a set of developmental milestones, a series of accomplishments that babies and infants are expected to achieve in a given period of time. While it is true that every child behaves differently and develops new skills at their own pace, developmental milestones are useful to detect and diagnose developmental problems.
If there’s a delay in the development and it becomes noticeable, it is important to look for medical help as soon as possible. Early identification of these problems will reduce the risk of consequences and will help your child get the attention they need as soon as possible.
There are other tasks involved in the process of caregiving, including driving, shopping, cooking, paying bills, and much more. In some cases, language disabilities will force caregivers to communicate with dentists or doctors on behalf of the patient. Thus, they need to be aware of their health issues, both current and past.
A useful recommendation would be to record every health-related data in a special journal and bring it to the office of the dentist or doctor every time. In this journal, it is very important to keep every medication the patient is currently using and the time schedule for each. In every visit to the doctor, caregivers should not be afraid to ask any question if there’s any doubt. Nobody knows more than caregivers about the patient’s health and special needs, and every aspect of their care needs to be evaluated along with him or her.
This is often very challenging if you’re recently starting to provide this special care for a family member. However, if we’re talking about developmental disabilities, chances are there will be someone who was taking care of the patient before you, and he will be able to give you all of the information you need to continue this work.
In the majority of cases, caregivers of patients with developmental disabilities are their own parents.
This is usually the case until the patient is an adult, and there are many things to take care of. By then, it is highly likely that your strengths will not be the same as before, and you will need an extra hand with medications and other types of care that require physical strength.
Another thing you need to consider when your child becomes an adult with developmental disabilities is being legally entitled to make medical decisions on his behalf. This is achieved with a legal document that will make you the appointed person who will talk to doctors about treatments and ultimately decide for the patient when there are multiple choices or in the case of end-of-life care. Needless to say, all of this requires a lot of physical and emotional support, and it might be overwhelming at times. Thus, while taking care of your loved one with developmental disabilities, you should not forget about taking care of yourself as well.
Caregivers have a lot to think about, and many stressful situations to go through. Thus, it is important to pay attention to a couple of signs and symptoms that may start appearing as a result of intense stress.
Caring for peopling with developmental disabilities is probably one of the most overwhelming
challenges parents or family members can take. Thus, it is important to pay attention to these and any
other warning signs and talk to your family doctor, friends, and family members. Even though it is a
difficult endeavor, if you don’t lose hope, there’s a high chance you will find help in places where you