Home and Life Modifications for Disabled Parents
This is a guest blog written by Ashley Taylor. She offers her advice on the challenges that disabled parents can face.
Having a baby is one of the most exciting times in a person’s life. You’re getting to know a new person who depends on you completely. And they will grow up to be an independent human being. How amazing is that? If you have a disability, parenting comes with an extra bit of challenges that you have to learn to overcome. But you can. And you will!
If you have a disability, you’ve likely already modified your home to accommodate your needs. But with a baby on the way, you’ll probably need a few extra accommodations. You might need to make extra modifications to your home and life so you can get around with a baby in tow.
Consider consulting an occupational therapist. OTs are especially trained to help people live their lives independently. An OT can take a look at your life, your abilities and needs, and she can work with you to help make modifications or give you special exercises that can help. She can also recommend new ways to handle child care that you might not have thought of, such as ways to put baby in a car seat or adaptive ways to carry the baby.
Hire a contractor
Look for a contractor who is experienced in home modifications for people with disabilities. A contractor with experience in disability modifications can discuss your needs with understanding and work with you on what needs to be done. You may need extra ramps to get in and out of your home, expandable hinges for doorways, skid-resistant flooring or more.
Paying for it
Many states, cities and organisations offer grants and special loans for people with disabilities to get modifications made in their homes. You can also have fund-raisers and ask friends and family for help in getting ready for baby. If they can’t pitch in money, they might be able to offer their elbow grease and potential babysitting.
You’ll need a crib, stroller, changing table and more. Luckily, there are more options these days than ever before for adaptive parenting. You can find bassinets that attach to the side of your bed, cribs with side-opening doors, adjustable cribs and baby beds and even strollers meant for parents with disabilities. You can even consider hiring someone to adapt a piece of furniture for you, or find a non-profit that can help you for free.
Ask for help
Nobody can raise a baby on their own without the help of others in their lives to offer support and encouragement. So, don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. You’re responsible for another person’s life. So being a martyr isn’t going to help anyone. Ask your family, friends, other parents or anybody who can help you get what you need. Your baby is worth it.
Once you have your baby in your home, you’ll be amazed at how she will change your life. Yes, you should be prepared to get little or no sleep and experience the same stress that other parents endure while raising a child. But the love you’ll have for your little one will knock your socks off. You’ll be so amazed at your child’s ability to bring out the best in you, that you won’t remember what it’s like to not be a parent. Watching your little person grow into an independent adult will remind you that life is amazing. And you won’t want to miss a single second of it.