4 Types of Adjustments You Can Make to Be Better Equipped to Sail the Waters of Disability
Most people who are living with a disability never expected it would happen to them. Some are diagnosed with health conditions that alter their realities. Other lives change in an instant when they are critically injured. However, each person faces a new normal that requires a changed perspective. Developing a new outlook may not be simple, but it is possible. If you find yourself facing disability challenges, some options can help prepare you physically, mentally, and emotionally for your new life. They range from government-sponsored aid to psychological assistance. You can even modify your home to suit your changing world.
Reach Out to Helping Organizations
It is normal to feel alone and even “different” when you are first diagnosed with a disability. In reality, you have a lot of company. The National Service Inclusion Project reports that 48.9 million Americans have disabilities, 24.1 million of them severe. With that in mind, dozens of organizations have been developed to support those facing a variety of challenges. For example, many disabled residents in the Kansas City area who qualify for Medicaid can arrange for Consumer Directed Services that help provide home health care. There are dozens of other helping agencies, including The Arc, Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation, American Association of People with Disabilities, and Job Accommodation Network.
Professionals Can Ease Your Psychological Adjustment
Developing a disability is a shock that can throw even the toughest person off balance. You can expect to go through most of the stages of grief that humans experience after a loss. They include shock, denial, anger/depression, and adjustment/acceptance. While it is possible to wade through all the feelings alone, the process is easier with psychological help. Specialists representing Disabled World advise that the emotional aspects surrounding a disability have a tremendous impact on the eventual lifestyle and overall outcome. Whether you can arrange for counseling sessions on your own or reach out to an organization for help, it is important to let experts guide you to a new life.
Embrace Your New Reality
Those who have successfully navigated the challenges of disability strongly suggest embracing the “new” you instead of fighting it. Yes, you are going to feel different because you are, and because people will see you differently. But that doesn’t mean your life has to change drastically for the worse. Physical challenges aside, many of the disabled are surprised to find how normal their lives are once they make few adjustments. In time, family, friends, and co-workers tend to go back to see you as “you” and will relate much as always.
Alter Your Home to Fit Your Needs
Since most disabilities change the way you go about your daily activities, you might want to adapt your home to make living easier. Organizations like The National Resource Center on Supporting Housing and Home Modification may be able to help cover costs. Some accessible features to consider a walk-in tub, accessible bathroom fixtures, wheelchair ramps, and handrails. Of course, your modifications will need to be customized for your situation.
Facing life after developing a disability is challenging, but doesn’t have to mean giving up the life you love. There are many support organizations and professional counseling options that can help you regain a healthy perspective. Modifying your home can reduce stress and keep you safe and comfortable. Most importantly, it is critical to remember that your disability does not have to define you.
If you keep your sense of humor and give people a chance, you will find that many things in your life will remain surprisingly normal.
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