There are many families in the state of New Jersey who have a family member with developmental disabilities. These loved ones may be impacted by conditions like Autism, Down’s syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, or another intellectual and developmental disability. Our family members who have a disability require a higher level of care than other adult aged individuals. Oftentimes family members want to provide care, but don’t know where to start. Read on to learn some helpful tips about caring for a loved one with developmental disabilities!

Education Is Key

To begin, it is important to familiarize yourself with your loved one’s condition. There are many trusted resources online, and we highly encourage you to meet with their health advisors. Additionally, other specialists they see may be able to provide insight into their situation today and what to expect in the future. Becoming more informed will help you make more knowledgeable decisions and improve your understanding of any challenges your family might face.

Develop A Support Network

Once you clearly understand what you need to do to care for your loved one, you can ask other family members and friends for help. People who care for the individual with disabilities can provide support in a variety of ways. Oftentimes they want to help, but are not sure how to ask. By determining the support you need you can give specific instructions on how they can assist you and your family.

In addition to people who you already know, it can be very helpful to connect with others who also care for a loved one. There are typically local and national support groups and resources you and you loved one can join. These groups provide a unique perspective, and often give insight and support into challenges you may come up against.

Be Your Loved One's Advocate

The family member with a disability will need advocates to ensure that they receive the best service, support, education, and care he or she needs.

A great place to start is getting familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, and other state and national provisions that may apply to you. Knowing how and when to apply them to your specific situation could be the best thing you do.

Working with a trusted DDD Medicaid provider agency is a great way to ensure you have a team of advocates on your loved one’s side.  

Remember To Care For Yourself As Well

We truly believe caring for a family member who has a disability is some of the most rewarding work that can be done. But, caregiving is hard work and can also be extremely challenging. It is important that you stay healthy for yourself and for those in your care.  Here are some ideas on how to take a moment for yourself:

  • Schedule personal time for a walk, exercise, or read a book.
  • Maintain healthy relationships with your own friends and those you can vent to.
  • Ask for help when you feel burnt out or tired – hiring another caregiver for a few days if needed.
  • Eat right and ensure you get enough rest each night.

The most important thing to remember is you’re not alone, and you do not have to bear the burden by yourself!

Your Choice Home Care Can Help

Families with a loved one living with a developmental disability provide the highest care possible and help them keep their independence. If you live in the state of New Jersey, your loved one qualifies for Medicaid, and you are willing and able to provide the help they need with daily activities, Your Choice Home Care can help ensure you get paid $20 an hour to care for you loved one. Contact us today 1-908-444-9080 to schedule a time to talk about how we can become your family’s advocates!

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