Providing Support and Reducing Isolation

Caring for a person with disabilities is one of life’s most challenging responsibilities. There is so much to do and learn, often with no warning or time to prepare for the role. Doctor visits are frequent and hospitalizations occur more often for those with disabilities. Medications must be managed. There are treatments to be administered, therapy appointments to attend and equipment to be acquired and maintained. Parents of children with disabilities also must attend school IEP meetings. Family finances may be challenged and family relationships strained. Family members often have to take on the role of advocate to ensure their disabled loved one is treated fairly. These responsibilities are not only time consuming, but exhausting. There is little time for friendships or social gatherings. Families become isolated.

It costs an estimated $233,610 to raise a child with disabilities to age 17.

Caregiver Forums

Connecting with others who face similar challenges reduces stress and isolation. TEAMability’s Caregiver Forums bring caregivers together to listen and support one another without judgement. Caregivers find emotional support when sharing their apprehensions about the future with others who have experienced the same feelings. Parents/caregivers of individuals with disabilities know more than many of the “experts” and willingly share their knowledge and resources. Forums are sometimes dedicated to specific topics requested by attendees such as transfer training; explanation of Medicaid Long Term Support Services; the need for guardianship; and equipment demonstrations. Forums are held midday in person with a Zoom option.

Family Activities

Having fun together is challenging and complex for families of persons with disabilities and requires time, patience and support. Coping with the stares of strangers, lack of accessible facilities for hygiene and recreation, transportation issues and financial constraints often forces families to avoid activities, increasing their isolation.

Children with disabilities are children first and children want to have family fun. TEAMability’s family activities are designed to bring families together for fun and friendship in a supportive atmosphere that understands and meets their needs. Carefully planned adapted, inclusive activities help family members better understand how to interact and have fun with one another. TEAMability’s family activities include holiday parties, luaus at the park, sensory friendly movies, and more.

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