The covid-19 situation has made life difficult for several Americans who suffer from intellectual and developmental disabilities. Their routine life has been severely affected due to the covid-19 restrictions, and they are becoming sicker during these difficult times.
Americans With Disabilities Struggle Harder During Covid 19 Pandemic
The family members who care for such patients say that they are finding it difficult to adapt to the new normal of life with too many restrictions. Some of the patients who suffer from seizures cannot wear a mask, and this makes life even more difficult for them when they are out in public places.
Patients who suffer from developmental disabilities need regular exercise even if it is limited to a simple walking regime. However, due to the covid-19 pandemic situation, they are not able to venture outside frequently, and most of them are now spending too much time at home without physical activities. Given the situation, they are losing their health due to various reasons.
Parents watching their children die slowly in front of them say that this has been the most difficult part of their lives. Children who suffer from such disabilities are not able to express their problems regarding the pandemic. However, it is evident from their behavior that they are anxious and depressed about the overall situation. This has taken a toll on their overall health situation and affected their appetite. Some of them are having more seizures due to the anxiety surrounding the pandemic situation.
Parents are not able to send such children to adult day programs during the situation. The regular trips to malls and restaurants have stopped completely, and this has severely affected the mental well being of such patients. When Children get to interact with others who have similar disabilities at the day program, they will feel better, and they can come to terms with the regular activities. On the other hand, the pandemic situation has isolated them completely, and they are not able to deal with the situation alone without any support from other community members.
Patients suffering from seizures cannot usually wear a mask as it is unsafe for them. In this situation, parents are not able to take such children to shopping malls and other public places. Parents are seriously hoping for a vaccine or any other measure that can protect their children from getting infected during this situation.
Even before the pandemic, parents having children with disabilities had a lot of stress as they had to deal with various hurdles regularly. It is not an easy task to keep children with disabilities safe from various things as they tend to harm themselves without proper supervision. The pandemic situation has only made things worse for such parents. They are not able to come to terms with restrictions and hope that things will return to normal at the earliest.
The mask requirement has made it difficult for many parents to take out children with disabilities. Some of the children suffering from developmental disabilities are not comfortable while wearing masks, as this affects their breathing. Even doctors do not recommend face masks for such patients as it can harm their overall health. However, it is not safe to take out such children outside without using a face mask, and this means that such patients are now confined indoors for a very long time.
Patients with disabilities never saw this level of isolation, and they are struggling to come to terms with the situation. Parents wonder if their children will ever return to normal life as this situation has had a profound impact on their overall behaviour. Health experts also say that not having enough social interactions can affect these patients in the long run. Many of them have lost their appetite, and this is having an impact on their overall health condition.
Delaware itself has more than 2000 people with disabilities who rely on adult day programs. As they were closed down during the pandemic, people who depended it on such programs got isolated, and families found it difficult to care for their loved ones. Some of the parents who had children in a residential program have taken them back due to fear of covid-19 pandemic. It is a difficult time for family caregivers, and most of them have even left their jobs to care for their loved ones.