Caregiving

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    ADiveheart answered
    If you’ve never worked with an individual with a disability, it’s not uncommon to approach the person and present a question to his parent, spouse or friend or caregiver sitting next to him rather than directly to the individual with the disability. This is an instinct that we have to overcome. Showing respect to the individual with the disability is paramount. Take the time to ask the question directly. Also note that the answers you get will give you direction as to how you can adapt to accomplish the task at hand.

    Parents and guardians: Overprotective parents can create fear in a child whose only disability is blindness. If these parents do everything for the blind child, the child may never learn to be independent and may lack confidence to take on challenges when he or she gets older.

    Social isolation and sedentary activity: A majority of children and adults with disabilities lead sedentary lifestyles. Persons born with a disability will generally have led a life where adaptation comes naturally, yet they may still lead isolated or sedentary lives. A person who acquires a disability must first accept the loss of ability or abilities and the associated challenges, and then learn to adapt to a new reality. These people tend to respond more negatively. One’s identity has a lot to do with how one handles his disability. A child growing up having to use a wheelchair or walker will tend to be better adjusted and accepting of who he is and his abilities than someone who suddenly loses mobility due to a traumatic event, accident or injury.

    Depression and suicide: There is also a greater incidence of depression, anger, alcoholism, drug abuse, resentment and suicide among individuals with disabilities, especially traumatic disabilities. Suicide is the most dramatic avenue of escape as the individual gives up or chooses not to live because he or she perceives him- or herself to be a burden to family or friends.

    Anger: There are three words that sum up what you will need to have when working with individuals who have not fully accepted or adjusted to their disability. They are patience, understanding and compassion.

    Peer Pressure: Peer pressure can lead a person to evaluate himself by comparing his ability to perform a skill against that of a person without disabilities. This can create a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure. Be prepared to set expectations and watch for external influences that will affect the individual's perceptions and your own.
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    ADiveheart answered
    The following statements are examples of people first language:
    • People with disabilities or people who have disabilities: In place of saying “the disabled,” it is preferable to say “people with disabilities.” This way the emphasis is placed on the person, not the disability (NOT the handicapped or disabled)
    • He or she uses a wheelchair (NOT he or she is wheelchair bound or confined to a wheelchair)
    • He or she has a congenital disability (NOT he or she has a birth defect)
    • Accessible parking or bathrooms (NOT handicapped parking or bathrooms)
    • He or she has a need for, or he or she needs (NOT he or she has a problem with)
    • He or she has a cognitive disability, or he or she has an intellectual impairment (NOT he or she is retarded or MR)
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    ADiveheart answered
    Generally, in choosing words about people with disabilities, the guiding principle is to refer to the person first, not the disability. It is important to refer to the person’s disability only if it is relevant to the conversation or situation. Someone’s disability should not be the primary, defining characteristic of an individual, but merely one aspect of the whole person.

    The following are some guidelines for talking about a disability:
    • Do not refer to a person’s disability unless it is relevant to the conversation.
    • Use “disability” rather than “handicap”
    • Never use “cripple" or "crippled” in any reference to disability.
    • When referring to a person’s disability, use people first language.
    • Avoid referring to people with disabilities as “the disabled, the blind, the epileptics or the retarded.” Descriptive terms should be used as adjectives, not nouns.
    • Avoid negative or sensational descriptions of a person’s disability. Don’t say “suffers from, a victim of or afflicted with.” These portrayals elicit unwanted sympathy or pity toward people with disabilities.
    • Don’t use “normal” or “able-bodied” to describe people who do not have disabilities. It is better to say “people without disabilities,” if a comparison is necessary.

    Many terms and labels used for disabilities in our society have negative connotations or are misleading. All of these words devalue the person they attempt to describe. Avoid using them when speaking to, or about, persons with disabilities. They include the following words:
    • invalid                
    • wheelchair-bound
    • mongoloid                  
    • deaf and dumb
    • defective                     
    • mute
    • victim                
    • crippled
    • special person        
    • suffers from
    • handicapped           
    • stricken with
    • a patient                        
    • retarded
    • gimp
    • abnormal
    • afflicted with
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    Professional, board-certified healthcare chaplains are the spiritual care specialists on the healthcare team as doctors and nurses focus on caring for the body. Anyone diagnosed with a serious illness or living with a chronic illness and physical pain may be facing both stress and distress that can be not only physical but emotional and spiritual.

    Professional chaplains do not provide definitive answers to questions and issues of spiritual distress. Instead, they help people in spiritual distress to identify and draw upon their sources of spiritual strength -- regardless of religion or beliefs. Professional chaplains will accept without judgment the person in pain’s own beliefs, faith and practice as well as their doubts and misgivings.

    A healthcare chaplain becomes board certified by one of the professional associations when he or she meets the requirements: has completed graduate level study and 1,600 hours of supervised clinical training, demonstrates competencies through a rigorous peer review process, and commits to a professional code of ethics that prohibits proselytizing. Some professional chaplains are also ordained clergy or recognized religious/spiritual leaders depending on their tradition; some are not.

    While local clergy and religious leaders who volunteer to see people in hospitals usually serve only people of their own religious faith, professional healthcare chaplains seek to care for everyone -- whoever you are and whatever you believe.

    It’s true that if you’re angry with God, the idea of talking to a person whose role is explicitly religious may not be appealing; however, a chaplain will neither lecture nor judge. He or she will, however, listen, and a good listener may be hard to find if your loved ones are also grieving and struggling to make sense of things.
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    ACareConscious answered
    In general, there is a conflict of interest if an acting or potential guardian or conservator has personal or financial motivations to make decisions that are not completely on behalf of the care recipient. Here are a few points to consider:
    • A guardian coordinates the provision of services but should not provide them.
    • A guardian must be independent of all service providers and must make service decisions solely on behalf of the care recipient.
    • A guardian must not pool the funds of the care recipient with other funds.
    • A guardian must not sell or transfer ownership of the care recipient’s property for the benefit of himself, a family member or other third party. All sales or transfers must be for full value.
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    ACareConscious answered
    A guardian is someone appointed by the court to make legal financial and personal decisions for an incapable person. The three types of guardianship are:
    • full guardianship: comprehensive decision-making authority and responsibility over personal and/or legal and financial affairs
    • limited guardianship: decision-making authority and responsibility over selected needs such as healthcare or property
    • joint guardianship: more than one individual sharing guardianship authority and responsibility
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    ACareConscious answered
    If you suspect that a guardian is not acting in the best interests of his or her care recipient (ward), you can report misconduct or suspicion of misconduct to a judge. The court can then determine whether the appointed guardian is fulfilling his or her responsibilities. If not, the judge can remove the guardian from responsibility and appoint someone else.

    Also, the care recipient can petition the judge for certain rights, such as to participate in groups or decide what setting to live in. Furthermore, if the care recipient's guardian has consented to medical care, he or she or another interested party can ask for a hearing to determine whether it’s really in his or her best interest.
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    ACareConscious answered
    The process of appointing a guardian usually begins when a family member or close friend of a care recipient petitions the court to act as guardian on the recipient’s behalf. The court schedules a hearing, at which time a magistrate, judge or jury will hear from doctors, family members and others close to the care recipient to decide whether the recipient is competent to manage his or her own affairs. If the answer is no, the court appoints a guardian. But if anyone interviewed objects, the matter goes to a trial.
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    ACareConscious answered
    A care recipient can object to guardianship and has the full right to attend the court hearing regarding his or her guardianship. The recipient also has the right to:
    • get an independent evaluation
    • hire or be appointed an attorney
    • bar a personal doctor and certain others from testifying against him or her
    A protected person cedes only those rights granted to the guardian or conservator by the court. Without specific authorization by the court, the guardian or conservator cannot change a protected person's parental rights, marital status, state of residence or power of attorney.
  • 1 Answer
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    ACareConscious answered
    A guardian is someone who assumes legal responsibility for the personal care of an incapable person, often including the management of his or her financial and legal affairs. An incapable person may also be referred to as the protected person or the ward. A guardian is appointed by the court. A legal guardian is under the supervision of the court and must make periodic reports on the status or completion of court-appointed responsibilities.

    A guardian's responsibilities typically include the management of property, bills, medical decisions (including consent to surgery and other medical procedures), financial matters, residential affairs and monthly reporting to court officials.

    Guardianship/conservatorship policies vary from state to state.