1. Aim for acceptance.
It can be challenging to accept that you are living with a disability. However, emotionally accepting that you are living with a disability does not mean you have to give up on chasing your dreams.
By not accepting our disability, we might be holding ourselves back. Once we have achieved acceptance, it may then be possible to welcome supports into our life that allow us to lead a more fulfilling and independent existence.
The process of accepting one’s disability does not happen overnight. Indeed, this process cannot be rushed, nor should we suppress our feelings. Acceptance is, by and large, a natural process. All we can do is encourage it in ourselves when we have the chance.
2. Minimise the impact of your disability.
A disability may have an impact in some areas of our lives, but we may still be able to control how much of an impact it has on these areas. It can be helpful to research the resources, aids, support and programs available to you. By making the most of these opportunities, you can often minimise the impact of disability on your lifestyle.
It may be the case that your disability has restricted certain activities. However, there are always things you can do, and it is empowering to seek out these opportunities to thrive within the scope of your abilities. Seen one way, a disability can even be an opportunity to learn new skills and a new outlook on life.
Setting realistic goals is another way to live your best life as a person living with a disability. A goal gives us something to focus on and to strive towards. These may be personal goals – like cooking a meal, doing the washing, creating a painting, or making a friend. Or they may be outward focused –volunteering, tending to a garden, or advocating for your disability.
3. Accept help
There is no shame in accepting help. In fact, it’s a very brave thing to do. A person’s disability doesn’t define them, and nor do the resources that support them to live their best life. There are many types of support that may be available. These include:
- Medical support. For example, from doctors, physiotherapists or allied health professionals who may be able to provide advice on treatment and management.
- Nutrition support. A nutritionist may be able to provide information that allows you to stay strong and energetic.
- Physical support. Seek out the aids that can help you to live well, for example, a walking cane, a wheelchair, or a rail for support.
- Social support. This may include participating in social activities and other activities like painting, exercise and games. A community care services provider, like St John’s Community Care, can help to arrange this.
- Everyday support. This may be in-home support, or support at a lifestyle facility, within supported accommodation, or another setting.