The young adult years are a formative period. During this time when children living with a disability become young adults, independence can develop in two directions.
There is potential that young adults may continue to depend on their care network, or alternatively that they might develop a level of independence that is beneficial to their wellbeing and the wellbeing of their family.
In this article, St John’s Community Care will discuss four ways of promoting independence during the transition to young adulthood.
1. Establish goals
Having goals and aspirations gives a sense of direction and purpose. In a way, having goals is a necessary ingredient for independence, as it gives one something to strive towards. A goal might be to complete a project around the house, learn a new skill, cook a meal, or even to find work or undertake volunteering.
Once these goals are formed, it’s important young adults can make decisions about their life and their daily living that are in focused on bringing about and realising these goals. That depends on having a support network that is positive and focused on support rather than control. It also requires a support network that is available to commit the necessary time and resources.
2. Engage in social activities
Social interaction and mutual social activities such as cooking, games, bowling, art or craft projects, or music are instrumental in building social networks, developing a sense of belonging and contributing to wellbeing. Having friends is a great way to develop independence as it introduces one to a new range of people to connect to and form a meaningful bond with outside of one’s immediate care network.
3. Look into aids to physical independence
Those living with a disability may depend on support to move around or complete activities such as showering or shopping, but this is sometimes a reflection of the equipment that is available to them. There are many aids out there that can assist those living with disability to undertake these activities independently. For example, adjustable electric beds may be able to help those living with a physical disability to get in and out of bed, reducing the need for carer support for this activity.
4. Seek the necessary support
A reliable support network that helps those living with a disability to fulfil their aspirations can increase feelings of independence and self-worth. The proper support network will help, not hinder, aspirations. It can help to achieve independence in daily activities such as cooking, showering, dressing, banking, writing, medical visits, and more.
St John’s Disability Care is a provider for both the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and other disability services. Our committed team can help to enrich the lives of those living with disability by increasing independence.
Our community care services include in-home learning support, learning and life skills development, young lifestyle accommodation, social respite, social activities, community access and more. Explore our website or contact us to discover how our disability services can support your independence or the independence of your loved ones.