With more and more innovations in technology and healthcare, it’s easier than ever before for people with a disability to live independently. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that everything is done by themselves, but rather that there’s more help, information, and care available for people to live independently if they so choose. However, this independent mindset can be daunting and overwhelming, which is why we’ve defined a few tips on maintaining your independence as a disabled adult. Hopefully, these can start you on a successful path!
Build a Solid Support System
Being independent does not mean you have to do everything alone. Often, true independence means knowing when to ask for help. This means that it’s imperative that you build yourself a solid support system. This includes family, friends, doctors, neighbors, and other individuals who you know will be there if you need them. The level of support you’ll need depends on your disability—you might need different types of support or minimal support. Just make sure that you have the support you need to stay as independent and safe as possible.
Keep Plenty of Checklists
As we mentioned, it’s going to be easy to get overwhelmed, especially at first. This is where we highly advise using some sort of checklist system to keep you on track. There can be daily checklists that talk about medicines and other important routines. There can be monthly checklists and—this one’s a big one—yearly checklists.
These yearly checklists should bring up some of the major tasks to help maintain your independence. For example, renewing your disabled parking permit is something you don’t want to forget, but it’s a small enough task that it can go unnoticed. That’s where these checklists come in handy!
Take Care of Your Mind
One of the most important tips on maintaining your independence as a disabled adult has to do with taking care of your mind. Whether you’re living alone or taking steps to do so, you have to make sure your head is in the right space. Independence won’t be successful if you’re not certain of your own needs and in control of your headspace. You may take care of your physical needs with doctors and medicine, but what about your emotional and mental needs? Those require just as much focus and care.
Create a Safe Space
Similarly, you have to create an equally safe space for your body as you have for your mind. Simply put, you need to make your home conducive to your particular needs. You will likely need to make some modifications to your home for it to fit what you need. For example, furniture placement and size will be important for eliminating clutter that could lead to falls. Maybe you need to install handrails or stairlifts, install more light switches, or lower any surfaces to better accommodate. Your support system can help you accomplish these things, so you can be on your way to independent living.