Spina Bifida: Tips When Caring for a Loved One
If it’s your first time to encounter the term “spina bifida”, it literally means “split spine” in Latin. It’s a congenital disorder that hits a baby’s spine, resulting in mostly mobility problems growing up. According to WebMD, out of 4,000 babies born in the USA every year, an estimated 1,500 to 2,000 of these births have spina bifida. Thankfully, state-of-the-art technology has now made it possible for babies with spina bifida to grow up as adults.
Do you know someone with spina bifida? Here are care tips for their particular needs:
- Grooming needs
Your loved one with spina bifida needs physical care and grooming just like everybody else. Most of these patients can’t move easily, so they need careful assistance in going to the bathroom, kitchen, or their own rooms to dress themselves. It’s important to be always ready to assist them in these activities especially when they call for it.
- Mobility needs
The survivors of spina bifida mostly face mobility issues. Some cases would need to use wheelchairs in order to move, others will have crutches or other walking devices. Some would even be able to walk without the use of any device. It’s vital to help them develop strength in their legs. Assist them in performing physical exercises so they can develop in their muscular flexibility, skeletal strength, and overall movement.
- Mental needs
A person’s mental health is crucial in living a quality life. This is not an exclusive need for patients with spina bifida. But the disability can be a factor for them to develop depression. When a disability is in place, patients may have low self-esteem, frequently worried or anxious, and prefer isolation. Be there to assure them of your love, care, and support. Cheer their every activity, and assure them that no matter what happens, you are proud of what they can do and achieve.
- Safety needs
Because of mobility hindrances, your loved one with spina bifida may encounter safety issues whether at home or outdoors. Whether they’re on a wheelchair or walking device, make their paths clear from clutters. Assist them in getting up and sitting down. Always be alert in situations that they might need extra hands so that they can move safely.
- Support needs
As their family member, you might face your own challenges in caring for a loved one with spina bifida. When you’re not well yourself, you might not be able to give quality care to your loved one. It’s vital then to gather support for yourself. Talk with your partner, immediate family, close friends, and a support group from this specific condition. Because your loved one needs you, you also need to be supported yourself.
At Lowenhill Home Care Services, we help you provide quality care and service to a loved one with mobility challenges at home. Whether it’s a family member with spina bifida or an elderly person who’s left alone at home, we’re here to help you out. Contact us to set an appointment.