Coping with cerebral palsy: Strategies for parents and caregivers

Coping With Cerebral Palsy: Strategies for Parents and Caregivers

How do you effectively cope with Cerebral Palsy as a parent or caregiver? Developing a plan for care or determining how to help someone with Cerebral Palsy is essential in equipping them with the tools to manage it throughout their lifetime. At Sommers Roth & Elmaleh, our Cerebral Palsy lawyers can assist you in deciding whether your case resulted in negligence and help you receive compensation. 

Caring for those with Cerebral Palsy is challenging and places daily pressure on the caregiver. The daily task of managing symptoms can quickly become overwhelming. 

While we cannot find a cure, we can provide you with strategies to make life easier.

What are the Effects?

Children are at risk of this disorder from the pregnancy stages to birth. The severity is part of a broad spectrum. Some children may only experience poor coordination or slight tremors. For others, there may be total paralysis and the inability to communicate. 

This neurological disorder is non-progressive, meaning damage generated at birth doesn’t create further damage. Yet, despite the condition not worsening, it has lifelong implications for caregivers and the individual. This condition affects individuals in the following ways:

  • Posture

  • Body movements

  • Motor function

  • Balance

  • Muscle tone, control, and weakness

Thankfully, there are strategies and tools to assist parents and caregivers in helping people with Cerebral Palsy live productive lives. Those with Cerebral Palsy can live fulfilling lives with the proper rehabilitation and treatment. However, this is expensive. 

Coping Strategies for Caregivers

While there are varying degrees for those with Cerebral Palsy regarding abilities and limitations, some children may need complete care and may never lead independent lives. Caring for your child is essential and can be rewarding. Conversely, it can also be challenging. Parents frequently require assistance and need to know coping skills when things become overwhelming.

Caregivers can experience fatigue, stress, burnout, and depression. This can take its toll on the caregiver. However, there are strategies you can incorporate to cope with daily living. These include the following:

  • Create a support team: Surrounding yourself with those who support you makes life easier. Support groups can range from a few people to an extensive network of parents. You can rely on them to listen, assist, and step in when needed.

  • Be aware of compassion fatigue: A frequent issue for caregivers is becoming emotionally and physically tired. Emotional fatigue can be challenging to comprehend, but if caught early, you can initiate steps to refresh yourself and re-engage. Compassion fatigue can result in self-destructive acts, emotional numbness, decreased engagement with the child, and other troubling behaviours.

  • Conduct self-care: Self-care is vital for caregivers to ensure they don’t burn out or become overly stressed. It may involve taking a day of rest, eating well, exercising, or working with therapists. Never neglect your own care; you cannot help your child if you can’t keep yourself healthy.

  • Find assistance: You can’t do everything alone and must recognize your limitations. Family members of those experiencing severe Cerebral Palsy frequently try to manage it all. Those requiring extensive care often need more than a single caregiver. Search for resources through non-profit groups, health insurance, and community organizations. You can hire a part-time caregiver to assist you as well.

  • Seek legal compensation: Caring for family members with Cerebral Palsy can place a strain on finances. If the condition was caused by negligence, you might be entitled to receive compensation for injuries. This can go a long way to helping your child receive much needed treatments and taking the pressure off yourself.

It’s not Just a Genetic Condition

While Cerebral Palsy is associated with chronic diseases, it is a neurological disorder. It targets the way your brain communicates with muscle groups. This disorder affects a person’s walking, speaking, and eating capabilities. 

Some parents are misinformed that it is solely a genetic condition. However, it can be caused by injury to the brain from a challenging birth, not having maternal medical conditions properly diagnosed or managed, and negligence from the delivery team. 

What Defines Adequate and Inadequate Care?

A doctor should take several steps to prevent Cerebral Palsy. These include:

  • Monitoring fetal heart rate: If the baby has a weak heartbeat (bradycardia), it indicates that they are not receiving enough oxygen to their brain. An excessively fast heart rate (tachycardia) can also be very dangerous. Doctors and nurses should be regularly checking fetal and maternal heart rates. 

  • Reduce head injuries: Physical injuries to the head can generate Cerebral Palsy. Medical staff must not incorporate rough techniques or improperly use delivery tools while the baby is being delivered.

  • Treat jaundice: Most newborns experience jaundice when born. Early treatment can prevent Cerebral Palsy and Kernicterus.

  • Examine fetal and maternal blood types: Blood types need to be checked early in pregnancy. If different blood types exist, it can generate complications affecting brain development. 

  • Manage underlying health problems: Conditions like Preeclampsia or Diabetes can cause complications if not properly managed. Medical professionals must have knowledge of the difficulties, conduct timely diagnostic testing, help the mother manage it, and take steps to lower risks. 

Failure to conduct proper testing, manage health issues, and provide the best care in the birthing process can lead to Cerebral Palsy. It can also receive a “diagnosis” of malpractice, entitling you to compensation.

Can I sue for Medical Malpractice?

You might be able to file a medical malpractice claim against the hospital or medical professionals if negligence contributed to or caused injury to the brain. In determining the potential of your case, a Cerebral Palsy lawyer will review your medical records and additional documentation to ascertain whether the medical professionals involved provided substandard care. 

Since each case is unique, it should be done soon. If successful, you may receive compensation to assist you in paying for services needed for your child to live productively. 

Can I be Compensated if my Child Sustained Cerebral Palsy From Birth Injuries?

You might receive compensation if the condition was caused by medical negligence. You may then be able to receive money for loss of income, cost of future care, out-of-pocket expenses, pain and suffering, time caring for the child, and additional expenses. 

Who can Assist me in Filing a Lawsuit?

Suppose your child has suffered from Cerebral Palsy from medical negligence. In that case, our team of Cerebral Palsy lawyers can assist you in establishing your claim. We will examine the medical evidence with our team of professionals and determine if you may be entitled to compensation. 

To book your free consultation, call Sommers Roth & Elmaleh at 1-844-940-2386 or contact us here. We will help alleviate some pressures of caring for your loved one.

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