Roughly 13.7% of Americans have limited mobility, either from birth or because of a later injury, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you’re included in that number, you will already be well aware that you need to keep a healthy body. Beyond this, it’s also crucial that you are able to maintain as much independence as you can. Thankfully, there are simple ways that you can achieve that.
Use Assistive Technology
Functional mobility is a key component to the independence of people with disabilities, according to a published study by Teresa Ellen Palmer of Belmont University. For someone who has grown up with limited mobility, you will be well aware of assistive technology like walkers, crutches and wheelchairs. Assistive technology has vastly improved through the years, so you will no longer be limited in your choice of mobility assistance. Taking advantage of assistive technology like electric wheelchairs and even AI-powered prosthetics can grant you the independence to be able to do simple tasks like getting about on your own.
Build Your Own Network Of Friends
Genuine friendships between people with disabilities provide a more profound connection for those involved, according to Zana Marie Lufiyya of the Center on Human Policy. Creating your own network of friends can give you a stronger understanding of your personal boundaries and what sorts of people you choose to be around you. If you’re not sure where to begin to build your own network, you can make use of a networking site aimed at people who share your condition. For example, a cerebral palsy resource site will give you an idea of what peer groups exist in different areas for those living with cerebral palsy. Creating genuine bonds with people that you choose can help you create a safe space where you can be authentic and vulnerable in safety.
Get Your Family Involved
Like all things in the life of a person with limited mobility, the family is often involved. They can either be your greatest helpers or the biggest roadblock to your path to independence. That is why it is important to make sure that they are part of the process. You can start by communicating your desire for more independence and obtaining their feelings about it. Having your parents and other loved ones on the same page as you can make for a smoother transition from being dependent to someone who is independent.
The idea of independence can be intimidating, but it is manageable. When you’re ready to become more independent, it’s always good to educate yourself on the different ways that people make it possible.
That way, you can pick which one works for you the best, and you can start truly thriving.