Maintaining Independence with a Disability

Life with a disability can often be perceived by others as an obstacle and appear to lead to a lower quality of life – but it doesn’t have to be that way. People with disabilities have the same rights, dreams, and goals as everyone else. There are a few key factors to keep in mind to help you maintain your independence, this includes proper planning and having the proper supports.

It can be challenging to maintain independence whilst living with a disability and this can lead to an NDIS participant having decreased access to the activites and lifestyle that they desire. However, it is possible to remain as independent as possible despite the challenges of living with a disability. Here are some tips to help maintain independence if you or a loved one lives with a disability.

Find supports that cater to your needs

With the help of your family and broader support network, you can find dedicated and passionate carers to help you with your daily challenges. Having someone to assist you where ever you need it desn’t mean you are giving up your independence, it simply means asking for help to accomplish tasks that might otherwise be too challenging. There are many providers offering a range of services who are dedicated to helping those living with a disability maintain their independence, so don’t be afraid to reach out and take advantage of the local support services available.

Create Support Systems

Close relationships with family members, caregivers, and friends can be invaluable in maintaining your independence. Support systems provide access to emotional and practical assistance when needed. When creating these support systems, make sure they are people who understand your needs and respect your desire for independence as much as possible.

Stay Active

Staying active is key to maintaining independence because it helps you stay physically and mentally healthy. Physical activity helps maintain joint mobility and is essential for daily tasks such as dressing or cooking meals independently.

Mental health activities such as reading books or playing board games stimulate the brain, which can help improve memory and concentration skills necessary for day-to-day life. Additionally, staying socially active by connecting with friends or joining social clubs can help boost confidence while providing companionship during times of need. 

Advocate for Yourself Where Possible

Advocating is essential when living with a disability because often, participants have unique needs that require special attention or supports from others to participate fully in society. Whether you or your loved one are applying for funding with the NDIS, discussing treatment plans or choosing between support services, advocating for each other to ensure the best level of communication, transperency and choice is essential in continuing to live independently.  

Plan Ahead

Planning helps you stay organised, remain in control of your daily activities, and allow you to create goals for yourself. For instance, if you use a wheelchair for mobility, plan out routes that are accessible and familiarise yourself with the area before venturing out. If it’s your first time visiting somewhere new, find out if the facilities have any disability friend accesses, which could include ramps and railing, elevators, special seating and special restroom facilities.

Living with a disability doesn’t mean giving up independence or dreams of what life could be like—it just means utilising supports and being creative in finding ways around obstacles! Planning is vital when navigating life for someone with a disability because it requires more flexibility in decision-making and planning can help avoid unnecessary complications in planning out activities.

Additionally, utilising available resources, including support coordinators, can make life easier by providing support where needed so participants can still feel empowered. With the right supports, anyone can find ways to live independently regardless of their challenges!

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