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11 Tips for Staying Independent

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Staying Independent

11 Tips for Staying Independent

When you have a disability, there are so many things that are out of control, you can begin to feel like your life is no longer your own. Shelley Peterman Schwarz provides strategies for creating a happy and fulfilling life life when a disability gets you down.


Let Go of Things That Are Not Important

1. Give up on perfectionism; don’t expect others to do things as you would have done.
2. Take store bought cookies to gatherings instead home-made.
3. Go with the flow;don’t get angry with friends and family that plan things in inaccessible locations.
4. Be prepared for waiting – take a book along for when you are waiting for rides and appointments.


Give Yourself Permission to Accept Help

5. Ask family and friends to help with the laundry, shopping, cleaning, and meal preparation. Don’t be embarrassed; they're happy to help, especially if it means that you'll be able to enjoy events and get-togethers.
6. Match helpful friends with tasks that peak their interest (shopping, cooking, driving, library, fun and laughter).


Make Household Chores a Family Affair

7. Children as young as 3 or 4 can help sort laundry, set the table, and carry or retrieve things. When involving children, phrase your requests carefully, you want to give them the message that this is a family and everyone does their part (“Time to make dinner” or “Let’s get the laundry out of the dryer”) rather than “Help me…” messages which imply that it is your job and they are just helping out. Be appreciative and accept the job that they do. As they get older, you can raise your expectations.
8. When children want to help you in the kitchen, create a lowered work space by pulling out a drawer and putting a cutting board or cookie sheet over the opening.


Give In; Don’t Give Up

9. Allow yourself more time; try not to feel rushed or pressured to move faster than you can.
10. Ask “Is there an easier way or a better choice?” and do what is easier for you.
11. Choose to use mobility aids
(cane, walker, wheelchair) so you can stay involved and participate in family’s life.

For more insights by Shelley Peterman Schwarz, read her Blog, What I l\Learn About Living From My Chronic Illness.

©2011 Meeting Life’s Challenges, LLC         www.MakingLifeEasier.com
For reprint permission contact Shelley@MakingLifeEasier.com



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