The world is a tough place, especially when you don’t have the same privilege as most others. Fortunately, with inclusive practices gaining more popularity, everyone has more equal opportunities, regardless of age, gender, race, disability, and religious or cultural beliefs.
For instance, people with disabilities are now more empowered to go to school, get a job, and even live independently. Once stigmatized in our society, they can now build their confidence and live their lives fully. One of the most empowering moves for persons with disabilities, in particular, is following the philosophy of Independent Living.
Promoting independence brings positive changes in the lives of those with disabilities, giving them a chance to speak up for themselves and live how they want to live their lives. Of course, the transition can be difficult, but the rewards are definitely worth it. Below, we list down five reasons how independent living can help empower people with disabilities.
Grants Equal Opportunities
It’s hard to challenge the preconceived notions and negative attitudes around people with disabilities. In fact, the attitudinal, infrastructural, and institutional barriers are why they have difficulties getting the same opportunities as others.
Due to this, Independent Living pioneers have championed a new way of thinking—people with disabilities are citizens first and consumers of healthcare and social services second. Instead of looking at their condition, society has to look past that and recognize the unique individual behind the disability.
Getting the chance to live independently allows them to avoid being confined to institutions that limit them from experiencing equal opportunities from the rest of the people. Similarly, the removal of barriers also paves the way for people with disabilities to live with dignity in their chosen community.
Having self-determination means that you believe that you have control over your destiny. It also means that you can be assertive and creative when taking charge of your life. For persons with disabilities, these attitudes and abilities can be best learned through independent living.
Living alone lessens the chances of other people thinking for them, so they can set their own goals and figure out how to reach them themselves. Without a doubt, being too dependent on other people hinders people with disabilities from individual growth and development. So, if you want to encourage an independent lifestyle for your loved one, check out the different Activ disability accommodation Perth has to offer.
Gives Control Over Life
Many people with disabilities have been brought up in protective environments; they are used to having other people like parents or carers do most of the decision-making. However, while being nurtured by other people is a good thing, not giving them room for independence hinders them from becoming confident and responsible adults.
Through independent living, adults with disabilities can have more control over their lives as they decide on their everyday choices. In addition, it gives them a chance to choose who their friends are and what lifestyle to lead. Ultimately, this builds up confidence that they can use for new challenging situations.
Self-care varies for every individual, and it is an especially unique experience for persons with disabilities. Of course, it’s important to realize that self-care is more than just meditation, journaling, or expensive massages. For those faced with long-term health conditions or disabilities, self-care can mean doing what they want to do without any mental or physical barriers.
For instance, making the bed, preparing meals, and grooming yourself are some of the most crucial self-care skills to have when living alone. It may feel mundane for other non-disabled individuals, but caring for oneself significantly impacts their confidence as they try to acquire acceptance and independence from others.
Moreover, promoting self-care and independent living skills can also bring benefits outside one’s home life. Making friends, getting employed, fostering hobbies, and building social ties are all advantages of developing life skills.
Recognition, Love, Belongingness
As a whole, persons with disabilities have the same needs as everyone else: to be recognized, loved, and belong to a community. They don’t want to live in isolation and to be away from the people they love.
Instead, they demand that society gives them the same opportunities to grow up in the same neighborhood, use the same transportations, go to the same school, work the same jobs, share the same hobbies and even grow a family like the rest of us. And while there is much to work on, a chance to live independently is a big step for their inclusion in the community.
Seeing your loved one transition into independent living can be bittersweet. Letting go of them can be a struggle, especially as you think about the new changes they will be faced. However, you must also think of their long-term well-being, as living alone helps them speak for themselves and settle into a life of their own.