Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

Raising Children with Physical Disabilities
by Karen Best Wright

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Grandparents raising grandchildren face various challenges and one of the most difficult is raising mentally or physically disabled children as grandparents themselves are aging. Taking care of a small child who is physically disabled is difficult enough on anyone, as it requires much lifting and movements. But, as people age and children get older, the problems become more complex.

I met a grandmother once who was raising a physically disabled grandson. She had been raising him for years. As he grew into his teen years and became the size of an adult, his child size wheel chair no longer fit. He required an adult size electric scooter. The next problem they encountered was that the larger wheelchair no longer fit through his bedroom doorway. Helping him get from the doorway to his bed became difficult for them. Their next step was having parts of their home remodeled to fit the needs of their grandson.

Some grandparents get custody of physically disabled children as infants because the parents were unable or unwilling to properly care for their child. For others the physical disabilities may have occurred because of an accident. When this happens the entire family suffers in an unexpected way. Losing one’s lack of mobility is a devastating life changing event regardless of the age.

Helping a child who may have suffered from a tragic accident or has always been disabled and is confined to a wheelchair, requires taking a positive approach to determine what the child can still safely do, rather than what they are no longer capable of doing. A grandparent/parent and child must be aware of what is simply dangerous and what is merely difficult.

There are many examples of athletes, veterans, and others who have suffered from devastating life altering events requiring a lifetime use of wheelchairs, scooters, or artificial limbs. There are many exceptional adults and children who have been through horrific situations and are extremely inspirational. It is recommended to seek out these individuals.

When a person is truly in need of an electric wheelchair or scooter, they may find assistance through Medicaid or Medicare if they are participants in those programs. Qualifying can be a bit tricky so be certain to communicate with a specialist in the area.

As an industry leader in mobility products, Pride Mobility offers resources to help people learn about their funding options based on coverage. Visit PrideMobility.com to learn more.

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