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It is estimated that about 650 million people around the world live with some form of disability, according to the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner. If you are included in that number, it is critical that you get to know what can help you achieve a better quality of life. Independence is a key component in living a better life, so what are some effective ways that you can develop and cultivate your independence?
Achieve Small Tasks
If you’re moving away from a higher level of care, you can start cultivating your independence by doing small tasks around your home. Some of these can involve budgeting, making your doctor’s appointments, choosing what items to purchase, and taking part in meal prep. What these tasks do is to get your mind and your body used to responsibility so that you can do more when you’re ready. The key is to slowly get comfortable with the tasks that you usually allow other people to take over for you so that you may do them yourself one day.
Access Proper Tools
Some disabilities like cerebral palsy may require helpful tools to train your independence. For both adults and children, certain tasks may be extremely difficult to do, especially during the period following surgery for treatments like muscle lengthening or tendon release. If you have difficulty moving, you can make use of helpful assistive technology like crutches and mobile chairs. Specialized eating tools like plate turners or motorized spoon arms can also help grow your confidence as you take charge of an important daily skill.
Reach Out To Established Support Systems
Socialization also plays a big part in cultivating your independence, as you may learn cues and helpful tips from others who are in the same situation. A good way to get that socialization is by reaching out to existing support systems like your family, friends, and established support groups in the area. You can try to reach out to online groups and forums to join in talks about growing independence. You may even find a confidant in social groups to help you address any concerns about being independent that you aren’t comfortable talking about with your caregiver or your family.
Cultivating your independence can be challenging, but it is certainly not impossible. What’s important is that you keep your eye on the goal and be consistent with your daily tasks. Eventually, your body will adjust, and you will enjoy the fruits of your hard work by being more independent in your daily life.