Addressing The Dynamics Of The Family And Caregivers

Addressing The Dynamics Of The Family And CaregiversOther issues that I found needed to be addressed include the view that others close to the client hold the person as a disabled person. For example, with my work, one of my client’s was able to get to her feet under her own power, after 3 years of being immobilized in a wheelchair. We would do 3 sets of 5 “get ups” (get up from the wheel chair!) each day for 3 days and then her husband attended a session and she was unable to get to her feet even one time in his presence! Why? It would seem that their relationship had become centered around her needs as a disabled person and her psyche wasn’t ready to shift his relationship without addressing it in some fashion. Remember I said I was also a life coach? As a personal trainer it would not be my purview to address such issues as a couple’s relationship and their vision of each other. As a life coach, I do.

The journey up out of a wheelchair can also include the crossing over of the barriers of long confinement. Viktor Frankl in his book Man’s Search for Meaning talks about how concentration camp prisoners for weeks after the flight of their Nazi guards, could not leave the camp, even though the front gates were open. The world can be a very frightening place to relearn to navigate if you have been imprisoned in a wheelchair for years! I refer to this as “institutionalization”; the effect of being utterly dependent upon others for EVERYTHING can make anyone become psychologically dependent even if they were naturally extremely independent prior to the stroke. institutionalization.” This attitude develops when patients in an institution get accustomed to the patterns of the place. For instance, the person becomes a “good patient,” waiting for the care providers to do everything. Institutionalization often results in a dangerous loss of motivation.
Institutionalization is common when someone experiences a life change that literally leaves them in the hands of others, especially if they have lost physical control. Any stroke survivor can testify to the on-going struggles of maintaining personal dignity while surrendering to the care of someone else.

And then there is the future. Facing life again after a disabling stroke is a very scary prospect! As an autistic person, I had to learn step by step how to face life the first time!