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Monthly Archives: August 2016

When Is Being Disabled A Disability?

rp_300px-Handicapped_Accessible_sign.svg_.pngPeople often do not display common courtesy to the disabled.  They are often discourteous, inconsiderate, and just plain ignorant.  God, that does sound pretty inconsiderate, discourteous, and just plain stupid of me.

I have disabilities. caused by arthritis, a possible spinal cord injury, and inheritance.  I work hard at overcoming my disabilities especially when I or other people expect me to do things that are often awkward and unsafe for me to do.  For example, changing two litterboxes.  I have trouble maintaining my balance and walking especially in unfamiliar or crowded places.  Also, I can’t see behind me without turning my body around and I have trouble with dropping things.

Can you imagine what other people might think of me when they don’t know and/or acknowledge this?  I often take a back seat when other people are up moving around so as not to be knocked down.  I can’t carry a tray.  Can you imagine how this might effect me when there is a buffet?  That doesn’t mean that there aren’t people who spontaneously help me and that is a blessing.

I can do a lot of things on my own when there is no one to knock me down, butt in line, or otherwise take advantage of my disabilities?  Do they even know that they are taking advantage of my disabilities?  (Oh, in case you don’t know, I have had physical and occupational therapy; but some of the best therapy I have had is when I learned how to do something myself (and I could do a whole post on that).)

rp_308895522_e2ab0d2ebd_n.jpgI usually get myself to events and can go places while there if they are not too far away and there are no steps involved, but it does take me time.  This why I sometimes find it difficult to get to the bathroom and back during breaks and (get this) when I get to the bathroom someone is probably using the handicapped toilet stall that doesn’t need it i.e. to change clothes or to have a time-taking bowel movement or just because it is more convenient.

I guess some people are more considerate of others even when it is inconvenient than other people.  I have an aunt that had polio not only did she recover from that but later she went back to teaching with some accommodations.  (I was going to say several accommodations; but that that might make her mad if she knew I said that.)  I am much more understanding of her situation now than I was then.

It appears that some people don’t notice that some people have disabilities.  They often sometimes unconsciously or consciously take advantage of these people.  As a disabled person, I do often feel possibly unfairly limited by this.  I have a kitchen with an island in the middle which is convenient now for me, but I often have to wait for other people to go ahead of me when I or they think I would take too much time and bother.

If you see a disabled person sitting back and waiting for others to get finished doing something, it may not be because they want to, it may be because they feel that they have to.  Do you agree that people often do something around disabled people because they can, not because they ought to?

P.S.: I don’t feel disabled when I am in my recliner reading a book or watching TV.  It also does get me out of changing my grandkids’ diapers!rp_9429411558_188837b502_m.jpg

 

“Zombies” In Nursing Homes

We have a long history being unable or unwilling to meet the needs of older and even younger people with disabilities without warehousing them in nursing homes.  Yes, there are standards of care that these homes must meet; but people often only want to provide minimum standards of care so that the home will be reimbursed.

Recently a friend of mine was admitted to a nursing home and I have visited there several times.  The thing that I noticed on my visits there were the people who looked like “zombies”.  Previously I had only seen people who were catatonic schizophrenics that looked like “zombies.”

The people I saw in the nursing homes were neatly dressed and had their hair nicely combed, but they sat silently and immobile in a chair or wheelchair.  At mealtimes, their chairs were moved so that they sat up next to the table.  These women and men posed no problems as long as they remained that way.

They had joined the troop of the forgotten.  They caused no trouble for the staff and would stay anywhere the staff had put them.  I guess you could call them the living dead or “zombies.”  It seemed like they had just given up and the staff saw them that way too.