Two Studies Side by Side Prove that Different Disabilities Cause Different Stress
Two separate studies, one published in the Journals of Gerontology, and another published in the Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, both stated that the stress of mothers of disabled children affects different body systems. The Gerontology article found effects on memory while the Intellectual Disability article found effects on self-esteem and organization. What both studies concluded, however, was that moral and emotional support helped slow the effects of both findings.
Parents Need Support
Both studies focused on mothers, however, parents as a team need support when caring for a disabled child. While the studies conclusively found that different childhood disabilities cause different types of stress, they both found that support from friends or family was the catalyst to slowing the stress and physiological changes. Both studies discussed parents who had support against those who do not, and, overwhelmingly, those with support were healthier than their non-supported peers.
What Does this Mean for Doctors?
Health care professionals must recognize that the whole care of their patient requires cognitive as well as physical care. If a patient is facing a stressful situation, such as raising a disabled child, a health care provider should have a list of support groups available. As not every patient can access friends and family for support, local support groups are the best option. Over a patient’s lifetime scope of care, providing support groups helps keep the patient healthier longer. Education is also an ongoing, essential part of the care of the parents and their mental health.
What Does this Mean for Parents?
Parents must be accepting of support and education. Raising a child with a disability does not need to be faced alone; however, it should be faced with help and as much support as possible. Parents must stay healthy to help care for the child; becoming stressed, losing memory, and losing self-esteem will only hurt the child in the end. Doctors and parents must work together to keep the whole parent healthy to best benefit the child.
If you or your patient is interested in support groups, Vancouver Home Health Care Agency can help.
At Vancouver Home Health Care Agency, Caring and Compassion is our business.