Crisis Preparation for Those with Special Needs and Disabilities
A crisis demands efficient and effective preparation for anyone, however those that care for people with special needs or disabilities have an even greater challenge to face. This challenge should compel a caregiver to put significant thought and preparation into planning for a crisis.
How to Plan for a Crisis as a Special Needs Caregiver
There are many things to be considered when you begin the planning process. Here are just a few of the questions that you will need to answer before you can create a formal crisis policy.
- What are the special needs of the individual or individuals in your care?
- What tools would be required to adequately adapt any given situation to the special needs of those for whom you care?
- What are the possible crises that could take place?
- Who would you need to contact should a crisis become a reality?
While these questions are only the beginning of delving into the crisis planning process, you will find that as you explore the answers to these questions further examination of certain areas will be spurred. This is not a plan that can be properly prepared in a short period of time. You must put adequate time and effort into developing the plan as the well-being of those in your care and yourself may depend upon it.
Formalize Your Plan
Once you have brain-stormed through the questions that have been mentioned and fully explored the areas of concern that have been raised, you will need to formalize your plan. Those in sizeable organizations usually understand the importance of a written plan. However, those that care for one or just a handful of handicapped people sometimes do not recognize the value of a written plan.
It is very important to put your plan of action in writing to dispel any uncertainties that may be left unanswered. Once put on paper, the holes in your plan become much more obvious. This forces the person in charge to address controversial issues before a time of imminence.
After a complete written plan has been established, you will need to practice. Many people do not like this step. History shows that plans that have actually been practiced not only are more effective in an actual emergency, but that areas of weakness tend to be exposed during practice. This allows the plan organizer to make any necessary corrections.
Those that care for handicapped and special needs individuals already have an enormous responsibility. Make sure that you take the well-being of those that you care for and yourself seriously. Do not shirk the burden that you carry in such a vital area. If you do not feel confident in developing your own crisis management plan, contact a professional for assistance. Do not wait until an emergency presents itself to you to decide to plan. At that point, planning is a thing of the past. This is far too important a responsibility to neglect.