Having constructive conversations with your care network
When caring for someone with disabilities, teamwork and good communication are vital to helping avoid unnecessary strain on your family and friends. When someone first learns of their dependent’s disability, they might experience any number of emotions, ranging from grief, denial, or sadness to relief or optimism. You may find yourself ready to develop a plan to move forward, or you might need some time to process this new reality.
Recognizing that you and others might have different responses to the same information will help foster healthy dialogues and provide opportunities to support others where they are. With that in mind, here are some tips to promote healthy conversations.
Educate yourself and others
Equipping yourself with accurate information about your loved one’s diagnosis will help you educate others.
Solicit input from others
Getting the perspective of others who support you or care for your loved one will usually promote better outcomes and help all feel valued.
Be clear about how they can help
Your loved ones likely want to support you but may not know how. Whether you need practical, emotional, or another type of help—they’ll appreciate you being specific.
Embrace your new normal
Recognize that caring for your loved one may change your family rhythm and the way you take part in activities that used to be routine. Being upfront and honest with those within your family and social circle can help promote understanding and avoid unnecessary conflict.