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How To Live Independently With A Disability

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A Guide To Helping A Person With Disability Transition To Independent Living

Independence Skills | living independently with a disability

Article by Andrew Longhurst

Andrew Longhurst understands that moving out of the family home can be a challenging time for a person with disability. Hes a Disability Support Coordinator and has a disability himself. Hes also experienced firsthand the journey to independent living. We asked Andrew to share some tips on how disability support workers, coordinators or other support people can help someone with a disability prepare for life in their own home.

Start planning early

Preparing to live independently is about slowly building up skills, knowledge and an understanding of the way the world works. That takes time, and its important the person you are supporting has a plan in place to develop the life skills theyll need to live without the day-to-day help of their family. The amount of time this takes will depend on the individual, however its a good idea if the person looking to move out is working on this, and having conversations with their family for as long as possible before they actually move out.

Independence begins at home

Never assume capacity

If youd like to learn more about the plans and goals your customer will need to have in place to get Special Disability Accommodation funding under the NDIS, visit this page:

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Adults With Disabilities: Preparing To Live Independently

by M& LAdmin4 | Nov 27, 2017 | Blog |

Monday, November 27, 2017

At Integrated Living Opportunities , we are dedicated to helping self-advocates and their families create communities in which adults with disabilities can live independently, yet supported. We do not believe in creating carbon-copy communities, however. Every partnership we build, every network we develop, and every community we create is done so according to the hopes and dreams, plans and needs of the self-advocates in our organization.

One size does not fit all at ILO rather, we help you create a community, a network, and an independent living option that most suits your loved one with a disability. We do this by providing you with access to the training, knowledge and skills needed for you to create your own community. With our guidance, we help you build from the ground up beginning with understanding ILOs definition of community, and how it is beneficial to all individuals.

Before we begin this process, however, an important question needs to be asked: is my loved one with disability ready to live independently?

Skills Inventory: Identifying Self Advocates Independent Living Skills

Identifying whether or not your loved one with disability is ready to live independently can be challenging. At ILO, this awareness of a self-advocates independent living readiness is an important part of ILO training and it is addressed through our Skills Inventory assessment.

Would You Like More Information?

How To Live With Disabilities

This article was co-authored by Trudi Griffin, LPC, MS. Trudi Griffin is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Wisconsin specializing in Addictions and Mental Health. She provides therapy to people who struggle with addictions, mental health, and trauma in community health settings and private practice. She received her MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marquette University in 2011.There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 40,939 times.

Having a disability, whether it is new or chronic, can seem incredibly difficult. Society is set up so that it caters towards people who are not disabled, even though 15% of people around the world have disabilities.XTrustworthy SourceUnited NationsOfficial site for the United Nations, an intergovernmental organization devoted to maintaining peace and building relationships between all nations.Go to source Regardless of your location or lifestyle, you can make changes that make living with a disability easier and your life happier. By adjusting both emotionally and physically, you’ll be able to accept that your disability does not define you or restrict your ability to be comfortable or happy.

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Living At Home Or In An Accessory Dwelling Unit

Living at home with parents or other family members is an option that many people choose because it is convenient. However, if caregiving duties become too time-consuming and stressful, other options might be better.

It is possible for an adult with a disability to be an independent part of the household if that is the expectation. One way to achieve this is with an ADU. ADUs are becoming more popular due to their accessibility to family support while providing privacy and independence.

An ADU is a smaller, independent residential dwelling unit located on the same lot as a stand-alone single-family home. There are different zoning laws in each locality, so you will need to check whether they are permissible.

Find Ways To Minimize Your Disabilitys Impact On Your Life

How To Live Independently With Disability

It goes without saying that your disability has already changed your life in big ways. It doesnt help to live in denial about that. Youve got limitations that make things more difficult. But with commitment, creativity, and a willingness to do things differently, you can reduce the impact your disability has on your life.

Be your own advocate. You are your own best advocate as you negotiate the challenges of life with a disability, including at work and in the healthcare system. Knowledge is power, so educate yourself about your rights and the resources available to you. As you take charge, youll also start to feel less helpless and more empowered.

Take advantage of the things you can do. While you may not be able to change your disability, you can reduce its impact on your daily life by seeking out and embracing whatever adaptive technologies and tools are available. If you need a device such as a prosthetic, a white cane, or a wheelchair to make your life easier, then use it. Try to let go of any embarrassment or fear of stigma. You are not defined by the aids you use.

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Tips For Living Alone With Ra

I believe most people with RA can live independently if they so choose. The first step is to understand ones particular skills and needs for any help and be willing to explore different adaptations or solutions. While my tips are specific to my own limitations from RA and disabilities, it can be a helpful example for thinking through what you may need.

What Are The Emergency And Security Features

Emergency and security features are vital for vulnerable populations. Ask about emergency response availability. Also, is the building secure? And if so, what are the systems for admission to the building? If you or your loved one cannot use emergency and security features, that could present a problem.

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The Rights Of People With Disabilities

The topic of rights for people with disabilities was spontaneously mentioned by a number of staff when they were asked if there was anything they felt was important to the lives of people with disabilities. One participant explained why she had raised the subject:

Two things hit me over the past few weeks, which have to do with rights. One was in a newspaper where a mother was complaining about how her daughter with Down Syndrome could not buy a house because legally she is excluded by Irish law in signing a legal contract because of her Down Syndrome. Another legal thing that came up in my work was where a person was trying to organise money to go on a holiday and he was a ward of court and he was told no, he should be living on the money he has and that an x amount of money, which was enormous, should be kept aside for his funeral.

Another participant said that while her service had gone someway towards integrating people into the community, she felt that the persistence of historical practices suggests it has still someway to go before service users are treated fully as individuals with rights and choices.

A number of staff praised the role of independent advocates in helping service users access their rights and challenging the traditional practices of services.

Finding The Support And Funding You Need

Living Independently with a Disability: Ben’s Journey

When you know what you want your life and living to look like, you can start to plan the support you need to achieve it. You can use your NDIS budgets to help live independently or make modifications to your home to make it easier for you to live in. If you are opting for supported accommodation, make sure you request Supported Independent Living within your NDIS plan to ensure you can fund the supports you need.

As well as finding somewhere to live, you might also want to improve your living skills. There are organisations, courses, and online resources that can help you learn how to cook, shop, and clean around the house.

You may be eligible to receive funding assistance to learn living skills as well as for one-on-one support to teach you those things around the house youre not sure about. You may also be eligible to receive in-house assistance with cooking, cleaning, or other chores you cant manage by yourself.

The NDIS has a page of factsheets where you can download information on a wide range of topics. To make it easier to find relevant information, Challenge Community Services has created an ebook that will guide you through NDIS budgets and provide you with some inspiration on how to use them.

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Guide To Living Arrangements For Adults With Developmental Disabilities

If you are an adult with developmental disabilities, you have more living options from which you can choose than ever before. You can choose to live:

With your family In an apartment you rent
With a spouse or loved one In a house you rent or own
With a friend

And we are coming up with more options every day!

At RCOC, we believe you should have as many choices as possible. That means that there are as many living options as there are people!

This guide is for adults with developmental disabilities and their families. We hope you will find it helpful as you develop your own vision about how, where and with whom youd like to live, and choose the living option that is best for you.

The purpose of this guide is to answer some of the questions you and your family probably have about different living arrangements. It is only the beginning, though. You will also need to talk to and work with many people such as family members, friends, employers, and your service coordinator to make your vision for your future come true.

What is a living arrangement?

It is where, how, and with whom you live.

As an adult, you probably make a lot of your own decisions. One of those decisions is the choice you can make about your living arrangement. When it comes to making that choice, you have many options from which to choose. You could choose to live:

Lets take a closer look

1. Living with your family

2. Living on your own in Independent Living or Supported Living

Respect And Recognise Multiple Identities

Society can be harsh. Often as a group we are quick to label people and disregard their rights, hobbies and lifestyle choices.

This kind of labelling can be an obstacle to promoting independence in adults with a disability. Even with the best of intentions, our community and sometimes even carers can forget about the person behind the disability.

We should all have the right to be recognised by the things that make us unique, whether that is being a soccer fan, a horse rider or a chess player. Respecting and recognising that each person has multiple identities and interests, and removing unfair labels, will help build confidence and the desire to become more independent.

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Independent Living Skills Training

The independent living assessment is just a jumping off point. There are resources available to obtain skills training in any area that you may be lacking in order to check the box on the assessment. Because disabilities come in many different shapes and sizes, the assessment and training is meant to apply to each person and their own specific needs to reach the level of independence that makes sense for them.

The education options for this type of training are sometimes combined with post-high school education for special needs individuals. However, some may need to be sought after as a separate program. These resources may be found locally through your Department of Health and Welfare, your local independent living center, or through disability resources online:

Do You Have A Question

Preparing To Live Independently With a Disability ...

Ask a real person any government-related question for free. Theyll get you the answer or let you know where to find it.

People with disabilities have always been a part of society, but they were not always accepted and looked after like we do now. Social constructs and ways of thinking have framed the views of society and therefore how people with disabilities were treated. These constructs and ideas of what disability is still frame our society and thinking today.

Reading about the history of learning disabilities, it is interesting and quite shocking really to learn about the treatment people with disabilities, either mental or physical, have been given through the centuries.

Babylonians would look at babies born with disabilities as good predictors of the future Romans would drown disabled babies Greeks were the first ones to talk about eugenics, they also thought that those born deaf couldnt think rationally. In Old Testament times, disability was linked to sin, nevertheless those born with disabilities were protected and people were taught to treat them kindly. In the New Testament, it became a source of miracles when Jesus healed the disabled.

Aztecs and Europeans would display the disabled in zoos. In the 1300s, disabled people in England depended on charity for their survival. Those suffering with mental health were labelled lunatics and confined to facilities and seen as entertainment for visitors.

Living Up To Standards

Ability vs. Disability


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Activities Participants Like To Do

The participants said they like the activities they do in their service, such as literacy, numeracy, computers, home management/cooking, personal development, community placement, drama and going on work experience. They like these activities because they do them with their friends in a safe and familiar environment. They also like watching TV and surfing the web, going out to coffee shops, writing, listening to music and watching sport.Unlike the men who don’t like shopping for clothes, the women enjoy shopping for clothes and meeting their friends in the day centre. Both of them usually shop with a family member to help them select clothes that suit them and to take care of the money.

My sister goes with me. I pick what I want but my sister does as well. The clothes I would like, she might think they mightn’t suit me. So she comes with me and picks out my clothes. I go home with clothes I like once they fit me but I would need to have someone with me to pick out right sizes. I am not trusted with money because I am very bad with money, a no-go in that area to be honest….. I buy my own clothes but I go with my sister who doesn’t agree with me. There would be holy war in the shopping centre and sometimes I wouldn’t agree with her but for the sake of silence and peace I give in so that everyone is not looking.

Use Repetition By Creating Daily Rituals And Habits

We are creatures of habit. Most of the thoughts we have and the activities we do every day are exactly the same. Breaking these habits, or creating new ones, can be hard because often we resist change.

But you can use this to your advantage to help others develop skills and learn new things. Repetition is the key. If you do something enough times it will soon become second nature.

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Thinking About Arranging A Trade For Or Hiring Help For Certain Tasks

I eventually learned to get help with certain tasks that were too exhausting or physically impossible. If I had been more creative at the time, I would have arranged a trade with a friend or neighbor: Ill help with X if you help with Y. But at the time, it didnt occur to me!

However, I did go on Craigslist and found someone I could pay to help with laundry. And through a referral, I hired someone to clean my apartment every month. I was good at keeping things neat, but couldnt physically manage scrubbing and floors and kitchen the way I wanted.

Provide Training To Improve The Required Skills For Independence

Living Independently With a Disability

Increased independence often comes with the need for a new skill set. The key components required to help people improve their skills are access and support. People with a disability must have access to the right learning opportunities tailored to their interests and abilities and support from a network of friends, family and mentors.

Encourage your loved one to build a learning and career plan. Something that maps out a pathway to achieve their goals and acquire the knowledge or qualifications they need to sustain meaningful employment.

This plan will help out at some of the hardest crossroads in life, such as transitioning from school to work, and eventually making the move towards a more independent lifestyle.

You may look to extend your support network to include mentors, trainers and teachers that can facilitate and progress this plan. Sometimes all it takes is someone from outside the family circle who can identify new skills and abilities, and champion your loved one on into greater personal achievements.

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