320 chapter 15: Support for caregivers
Make time to put your work aside and do something you enjoy. It is important
for a woman with a disability and her caregiver to both have friends and interests
away from each other. To have a full and satisfying life, each of you needs to spend
time with other people.
Be careful not to injure yourself
The job of caring often involves physical work, such as lifting the person you
are helping. This can cause injuries to your back. To lift or carry someone or
• Use your leg muscles, not your back
muscles. When you lift something heavy
from the ground, kneel or squat to pick
it up rather than bending over.
• Keep your back, shoulders, and neck
as straight as possible as you straighten
• Ask someone to help you lift the person
you are caring for. It may seem quicker
to do it yourself, but if you injure your
back, later on you may not be able to
help at all.
Ask others for help
Being a caregiver can be isolating. When a disabled person relies on just one helper
all the time, everyone else may feel that the ‘expert helper’ is the only person who
knows the right way to assist. But no one should be a disabled woman’s only helper.
Other family members, friends and neighbors can assist by bringing or cooking a
meal, going to the market, cleaning, or just coming to visit. This will help you rest
and have more energy later.
Giving and receiving help
Look for ways a disabled woman can
do things as part of the family’s daily
routine. Then, she can give help instead
of just receiving it. Have good, realistic
expectations. Expect a woman to be the best
she can be. Encourage her to try new things
and develop her skills.
Qin Cheng does all
the accounts for
our family’s poultry
business. You can say
she’s our resident
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007