We want to welcome Harry Stiles. He is once again our guest blogger with helpful news and suggestions for families as well as our people who are in their later years. Thank you, Harry, for your great advice.
Ready for Anything: How Disabled People Can Adapt Their Homes for Parenthood
Preparing for parenthood can be an especially anxious time for disabled individuals. In addition to such a monumental life change, disabled parents-to-be must ready themselves by making any adaptations to their homes to accommodate their disability first. Then it falls to them to also ensure they’re fully prepared to provide and care for a baby. Parenthood can help disabled individuals become more confident and achieve a stronger sense of identity, knowing they’re capable of being successful parents. It also strengthens the bond between spouses, as each must depend on the other to provide adequate childcare, keep the home clean, and carry out everyday tasks.
Prepare your estate
This step is important for any family, whether they have a disability or not. If you and your spouse or your partner, don’t have a will, it’s important to have one prepared so your estate is protected in case something happens to you. It’s also how you’ll make arrangements for your child’s ongoing care if you and your spouse should die prematurely. Assess your insurance situation to ensure you’re sufficiently covered, to alleviate the financial burden on you or your spouse, and so your child is protected financially. Don’t forget to look into funeral and burial insurance plans, which help cover funeral costs, which can be extremely expensive.
Preparing your home
Getting your living space ready to accommodate a baby is one of the most important preparations a disabled parent can make. It means more than just setting up a crib, bassinet, and playpen. If you or your spouse is in a wheelchair or uses some other mobility assistive device, go through the house and make sure there are no impediments that might prevent you from reaching your child quickly or getting your hands on the tools of parenthood (bottles, diapers, wipes, formula, etc.) in a timely manner.
Place new batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, keep a fire extinguisher in an easy-to-reach location, and lock away any medications and household cleaning fluids that contain dangerous chemicals.
If you’re bringing home a newborn, it’ll be a while before she’s ready to move around on her own, but go ahead and make sure that any heavy furniture, television sets, or bookcases have been secured to prevent tipping, a frequent cause of injury and death among very young children.
Tables and furniture with sharp edges should have corner guards to prevent injury. Install child-safety latches on all cabinet doors at floor level, and keep any hanging cords from window shades or blinds from dangling too near the floor.
People are often anxious to help out by handing over baby equipment they no longer need. It’s a kind gesture and meant well, but aging equipment can represent a safety threat to a newborn or small child, so check each piece of hand-me-down equipment carefully. If it’s your intention to purchase new equipment, be diligent about checking online customer reviews.
Seek out equipment that makes it easy for you to provide care despite your disability, such as a side-entry crib, a chest harness baby carrier or Lap Baby seating aid so you can keep your little one safely alongside, and an infant bath that can be placed on a tabletop and reached easily by parents in wheelchairs. Bathing a small child, especially a newborn, can be tricky and will probably require both parents to be involved, at least in the beginning. Swiveling baby car seats make it much easier to get your little one in and out of the car and take some of the strain off your back.
Parenthood is a difficult transition for every new family. Disabled parents can make things much easier on themselves by being prepared at home and by surrounding themselves with special equipment designed to relieve some of the burdens of parenting.
Courtesy of Pixabay.com.
Harry Cline | firstname.lastname@example.org
The New Caregiver’s Comprehensive Resource: Advice, Tips, and Solutions from Around the Web