Tag Archives: Home Safety

Planning the Future for Children with Disabilities

Planning the Future for Children with Disabilities

Guest Article by Charlotte Meier

 

When you have a child with a disability, it’s important to plan ahead for her future, particularly if she is going to need assistance caring for herself as an adult. There are many things you can do now, as she is growing, that will be beneficial for her later in life.

Plan for Your Child’s Adulthood Early On

Start as soon as you can; it’s never too early. As a parent of a child with a disability you need to be coming up with ideas for the future, even though you may not foresee a time when your child can live without your support. Most children outlive their parents, so it’s important that you make provisions for a time when you will not be there to care for your child. It helps to generate an image of the adult she will become, then you can begin to process the type of support she will need. Consider the community where she will live. What type of accommodation will she need? Who will her closest friends be? What kind of support group will she have? Share these ideas with your family and friends and they will help you build a clearer picture.

Learn From Adults With Disabilities

It may be difficult for you to imagine what it will be like for your child to live with her disability as an adult. To help you understand, you should get to know adults with the same or similar disability. Talk to them about their lifestyle and the level of support they need. You can also attend support groups and workshops where you can meet parents with older disabled children.

Research the Support Options in Your Community

It’s vital that you become familiar with the support options in your community for adults with disabilities. Look into groups and organizations that are involved with work programs, assisted living and recreational programs. There are many good resources online, such as the Center for Parent Information and Resources and Special Needs Resources.

Become an Advocate Within Your Community

Reach out to other families in your area through local parent support groups. Contact service providers and let them know about your child’s needs so that services will be readily available as and when she needs them. Find out how you can advocate for services that are not yet in place. Sign up for local organization’s newsletters, so you can keep abreast of the latest changes.

Help Your Child Connect

Build a foundation in your community for your child’s future. Help her to connect with local people, both disabled and non-disabled. The more people you child knows now, the stronger her network will be when she is an adult. Help your child make friends with non-disabled children in your area by arranging for them to do activities together, such as watching movies, baking cookies, or playing video games.

If you have a young child, it may, at this time, be hard to realize the importance of looking ahead to her adult future. But the sooner you begin to imagine how it’s going to be, the more prepared you will be and the easier it will be for you to help your child develop a strong foundation for independence. There’s no need to feel overwhelmed by creating a life plan for a child with a disability. Start now and build on it gradually, and when the time comes, it will be easier for you to help your child make the transition to adulthood.

Common Ways Your Home Could Be Making You Sick

Guest article by: Charlotte Meier of HomeSafetyHub.org
Photo via Pixabay by FrankWinkler

 

Your home is likely the place you feel most comfortable in, the refuge you retreat to after a long day at work. But for some, it could also be full of hidden dangers in the form of mold, common household chemicals, and even bugs and mites. It’s important to be familiar with these dangers and to understand the ways you can combat and prevent them.

Here are some of the most common ways your home could be making you sick.

Heating and cooling
Your air conditioning unit should be checked every year when the weather gets warm to ensure it’s working properly and that there are no leaks. Even a well-maintained A/C unit often leaks a small amount of water in the ducts, which can be a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. It’s a good idea to have the unit cleaned and inspected before using it every year.

The heating system will also need to be maintained. Furnace filters can become clogged after repeated use, sending dust and debris back into the air inside your home. Change these often and buy a few extras to keep handy for the winter months.

 

Bedding
No matter how clean you keep your bedroom, it’s one of the rooms in your home that acquires the most dust and dead skin, so it’s important to wash sheets, pillowcases, curtains, and any other fabric that attracts dust in hot water once a week. Mites and bedbugs are attracted to these areas, so it’s important to keep them clean.

 

Bathrooms
Even if your bathroom is spotless, mold can form and hide in the smallest spaces. Turn on the fan while you shower to reduce the amount of steam that rises up and dry off as much as possible while you’re still standing in the shower so the bath mat won’t get wet. Hang it up and let it air dry after every use to keep mold from forming on the underside.

 

Household cleaners
Dryer sheets, air fresheners, and certain cleansers contain harsh chemicals that can irritate allergies and asthma. These can be toxic, as well, which is why many people chuck the store-bought cleaners in favor of plain old vinegar and water and homemade dryer sheets.

 

Check the fridge
The refrigerator can be a breeding ground for bacteria and other yucky things, so clean out trays, drawers, and shelves often with hot, soapy water and throw out anything that looks questionable as soon as it starts to go bad. Leaving perishable food in the fridge too long can lead to other foods rotting.

 

Lead
If your home is more than thirty years old or has older paint in some rooms, it’s a good idea to test for lead and have your family tested, as well. For more information, contact (800) 424-LEAD.