Normally all members are taken good care of in any family. But the challenge lies in taking care of an invalid member in the family. Care of an invalid requires a lot of patience, tact and physical work.
Some unfortunate persons are born with a handicap. There are totally physically and mentally handicapped children like the ones with a Down’s syndrome or cerebral palsy. They need total care like a small baby even after growing up. These children can be given some minimum training about self care in selected centers. A mother always has abundant love and affection for such children because she is the one who has nurtured this life and given birth to it. But at times the father and other family members try to distance themselves from such a member.
In fact I was reading in the, “agony column”, that a father was not giving due attention and affection to a child born with cerebral palsy. All responsibility of the invalid falls on the mother, which is not correct. With no other help, care for such an invalid becomes physically exhausting and also depressing. All family members should help to take care of an invalid child. They can at least try to nurture some affection for their unfortunate sibling or child. After all it is not his fault to be born abnormal.
Another category of invalids is those who have some physical handicap like being blind or deaf and dumb. This may be congenital or developed after some illness. In most of these cases, the person is mentally alert but handicapped physically. There are many centers which help in imparting education and vocational skills as per ability to such people. Relatives should make sure that their handicapped relative is sent for learning so that he can make the best of his life.
Another aspect in care of physically handicapped people is that they should not be left lonely. Often it is seen that people take good care of a handicapped person physically. But they fail to spend time with him or her. One needs to recall that a person may be blind or deaf and dumb, but has the same emotional need for human love and company like any other normal human being.
With advancing age, many previously normal people become incapacitated. This can be due to some chronic degenerative disease like Parkinsonism or senile dementia. Diseases like stroke, cancers, e.t.c., also make a person bedridden.
These elderly people need utmost care, love and respect from the youngsters in the family. This fact cannot be ignored that they have given the best years of their lives in nurturing the children at home. Today, what one has accomplished has been possible only through the selfless help rendered by the elders and the sacrifices they made.
If an elderly person has a problem with walking, he needs to be helped around. He or she should be made to feel that still they are important members of the family. They can be counseled for any problem in the family. Their vast experience of the world and life should be taken due advantage of. Small chores which they can do should be given to them. This helps them to still feel worthy.
In no way should the handicap or age be pointed out to the elderly as it is very hurtful.
In case of bed ridden people, due care has to be taken of their cleanliness and nutrition. It is important to see that they do not develop bed sores. This is possible by changing their position often and keeping them clean and dry.
Along with physical care, the children ought to spend some time regularly with a handicapped elder, so that he does not develop a sense of loneliness and depression.
Good care taken of an invalid should be considered as an investment for the betterment of the society. It is also a way of thanking the creator for keeping you healthy and fit. If not in an institution, then at least people can care for handicapped people in the home.