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How to care for adults with cerebral palsy

How to care for adults with cerebral palsy

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a lifelong disorder that affects around 1 in 400 people in the UK. While it is a non-progressive disorder, it can affect the body in numerous ways. This disorder is characterised by various physical and developmental problems, such as loss of muscle tone and strength and weakened reflexes, as well as various cognitive issues such as difficulty swallowing and seizures. The severity of these symptoms depends on each individual. 


While the symptoms of cerebral palsy can be severe, many CP patients live happy lives – well into adulthood, in fact. This is due to the many improvements that have been seen in cerebral palsy treatments and therapies. 


Now, if you are a friend or family member of an adult with cerebral palsy, you’ll likely want to give them the best support you can – and there are many ways you can do this. 

Caring for someone with cerebral palsy

When supporting or caring for someone with cerebral palsy, you will need to be prepared to help them with daily tasks as well as the symptoms that may arise from CP, such as seizures or asthma attacks. 

Assisting with daily activities

Some adults with cerebral palsy will struggle to complete ordinary tasks on their own, such as getting dressed, eating or brushing their teeth. You can easily provide them with support in these basic tasks. 

Helping to administer medications

Some adults with cerebral palsy will need certain medications to help alleviate their symptoms and other related medical issues. As a carer, you may need to help assist with administering these medications, depending on the individual’s symptoms and their severity. 

Encourage them to socialise 

Socialisation presents numerous benefits for cerebral palsy patients, such as keeping their social abilities, emotional health and overall wellbeing intact. If you are caring for someone with CP, you should encourage them to socialise by joining cerebral palsy support groups or other groups where people with similar disabilities come together and do fun activities. 

Monitor their physical and emotional health

Adults with CP may be at risk of additional health issues. Therefore, as a carer, you will need to monitor their physical and emotional health. Doing this could prove critical in some situations, such as when an adult with cerebral palsy is in a medical emergency. 

Do engaging activities

Adults with cerebral palsy will have lived with their disorder for some time, so they’ll have a pretty good idea of what they are capable of doing. Keeping this in mind, you can still get them involved in some fun activities that aren’t outside of their comfort zone. 


Examples include those such as cooking, playing an instrument, doing adaptive sports and painting. These activities are all quite rewarding and can generally be adapted depending on the individual’s disabilities. 

What should you do if you’re unable to care for an adult with cerebral palsy?

Caring for someone with any disorder can be taxing. However, it’s important to remember that you are not alone. You can get assistance in numerous forms, such as with live-in care – with this; there will be a live-in carer who is trained to work with cerebral palsy patients. This will ensure that they get the care they need while also ensuring that they remain as independent as possible. 


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