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  • How to support a disabled patient?

    Author: HealthTimes

As a GP, you’ll probably come across many disabled patients from all walks of life and levels of function.

Some may only require support during transitory periods whereas others may require more long-term support.

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For those that require more extensive support, there are certain Australian programs that will allow them to live more comfortably and independently.

For those that don’t need the same support, there are support groups and communal services available for their perusal.

But as a treating professional, what can you do to ensure that they receive the resources that they need in order to go on to lead meaningful lives?


Occupational Therapist
Programmed Health Professionals
Medical Receptionist
Cabrini Health
Senior Supervisor
St Vincent's Private Hospital

Informing them about National Disability Insurance Scheme

Financial support is one of the widely requested types of support because it allows patients to take the pressure off while attempting to find their place and stride.

For households that have a disabled family member, NDIS can also greatly reduce the burden of treatment costs.

The NDIS program aims to fund $22 billion in the next five years, favoring those who have a permanent impairment that causes them to have a lower level of function, whether in terms of mobility or mentally.

There are many services available for those who are less-abled, such as NDIS gardening or even cleaning services.

Address the patient directly

Even if your patient has trouble comprehending you, it is very important that you treat them as equals.

When the caregiver answers on their behalf, don’t direct your attention to the caregiver, but instead, continue applying your focus on your patient.

Never assume that your patient will not be able to understand you, for even if they are unable to express themselves, they are still first and foremost, your patient and should be treated with such respect.

If they did not bring a caregiver with them, don’t question their decision and when offering support, always wait for their response, rather than making the decision for them.

Sometimes, all they need is a little time and do not require assistance from you. By giving them the assistance they did not ask for, it is a gross misconduct of consent and it also belittles the patient, rendering them to be even more powerless.

Ensure that your staff treats disabled patients with patient and respect

Providing your patient with respect is the most basic thing that you can give them but you should also overlook your staff’s attitude towards these patients.

Disabled patients can sometimes find it hard to express themselves and become distressed when such situations arise. Make sure that your healthcare professionals understand this and react accordingly in a calm manner.

At the end of the day, all patients are equal

As the heading says, patients are all the same and whether they have a disability or not, they all wish to be treated with care and respect.

Don’t let your prejudice or experience get the better of you and always give patients the room to take care or speak for themselves.


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