3 Tips For Maintaining Your Independence When Living With A Disability

Maintaining Your Independence When Living With A Disability
Photo by Marcus Aurelius from Pexels

Around one in four Americans are living with a disability, according to estimates from the Center For Disease Control. In numbers, that equates to about 61 million Americans with disabilities. Whether it is in the form of an invisible illness like lupus and autism, or a visible disability like cerebral palsy or down syndrome, everyday life for those living with these conditions can look drastically different. Whether it is struggling to maintain your independence or gain employment, navigating the challenges that come with having a disability can be tricky. But by taking the right steps and implementing the right support, you can lead an independent and happy life, regardless of your disability.

Create A Strong Support Network

A strong support system is instrumental in helping you achieve your dreams of independence when living with a disability. In addition to a strong circle of friends and family that provide moral and emotional support, you should also seek professional help in the form of a home care aide and a therapist to help you navigate the mental stresses of living with a disability. Reaching out to organizations that support people with disabilities can also provide you with important information and a chance to connect with others in a similar situation. Whether you are a parent seeking answers or treatments to help your child cope with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy, or you’re an adult looking for rehabilitation options, these organizations can give you the right information.

Get Your Financial Pillars In Place With Financial Aid And Employment Options

Living independently also comes at a cost, including the cost of continuous medical care and necessities like rent, food and utilities. However, for many people with disabilities, their condition may impact their working abilities, leading them to have erratic or part-time employment. However, with the right financial planning and access to the right financial resources, you can successfully manage your finances with a disability.

Start with your employment options. Many employers are now proactive about hiring people with disabilities, and you can check the Jobs and Education for People with Disabilities website for help with securing a federal job. You will also want to do your research on the eligible funding and financial aid opportunities available to you. For instance, you may be eligible for Medicaid for Adults or Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which helps children of families that cannot afford healthcare insurance. This can help you with covering the costs of medical equipment, repeat medications, and home care services.

Make Your Home Your Own With The Help Of Disability Friendly Adjustments

In a past report by Disabled In Action, it was estimated that only 23 percent of those with a non-severe disability live alone or with non-relatives. For those with a severe disability, that number was 28 percent. Maintaining independence at home has long been a hurdle for those living with a disability, forcing many to give up on the possibility of living alone. 

However, with a few adjustments, having an independent home life can often be possible. Homeowners or tenants with disabilities should ensure their doorways and steps are conducive to the use of wheelchairs or other mobility equipment if needed. Installing ramps and handrails in places like the bathroom can also reduce the risk of injuries such as falls. Finally, if you have difficulty moving around easily, it may be best to ensure your home is free of clutter and has easy access to a mobile phone or medical aid device, should you need it. 

If you are worried about paying for these modifications, research some of the many resources that provide home modification financial assistance for disabled people, such as Rebuilding Together and various state programs that pay for home modifications. For veterans or ex-servicemen, the most popular ones are Heroes For Homes and the HISA Grant. 

Leading an independent life with living with a disability does not need to be a myth. While the strategies vary according to your disability and severity, there is a vast amount of help out there that can help you achieve your dream of independence. With their help and a bit of determination of your own, there is no reason why you cannot lead a rich and fulfilling life all on your own.

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