Some people are born with a disability or disabling condition, others acquire them later in life. A recent disability could be the result of an accident or injury, an illness, a long-term condition or something temporary or short-term. Whatever the reason, coming to terms with your new disability will require a number of lifestyle changes. Here are five tips to help you to get started:
Ask for Help and Support
It can be tempting, particularly with a new disability, to try to ‘do it all’. You might wish to prove to someone else, or to yourself, that you’re still as able and capable as you’ve always been. The ‘disabled’ label is often one that people struggle with – see yourself instead as ‘differently abled’ or perhaps ‘in need of a little extra support’. Your disability does not make you vulnerable or weak, and there is no shame in admitting when certain things aren’t quite as easy as they used to be.
Your support might come from friends or family, or it could come from professionals or from online forums and groups. Most likely, it will come from a combination of them all.
Get the Right Equipment
The right equipment can go a long way to making your transition easier. Many people with new or acquired disabilities do not immediately realise that there are hundreds of tools and daily living aids that are designed to improve things. From mobility scooters to grab rails and from a tap-turning aid to a long-handled dustpan and brush, there are many products on the market that will keep you doing what you’ve always done – including the household chores!
Mobility Smart is a UK retailer of products that help those with mobility difficulties. Items can be purchased by individuals, organisations and companies or providers of care. Click here to find out more.
Make Contact in Advance
One of the hardest things to learn as a newly-disabled person is that the world is harder to navigate. It’s no longer as easy to be spontaneous, when you have to consider accessibility. If you have concerns about the availability of ramps, lifts, disabled toilet facilities or accessible hotel rooms, phone in advance rather than worrying on the way. A quick call won’t just set your mind at rest, it’ll also help people to prepare in advance for your arrival. Places often use folding ramps or temporary aids for people with disabilities, and so they might not always have everything to hand if you show up without any warning.
Get Out and About
If your disability is newly diagnosed, you may want to respond by locking yourself away whilst you get to grips with your new situation. The problem is that whilst your home is a comfort, you may become dependent on your protective bubble. The quicker you get out and back into your life, the more likely you are to come to terms with how things are. Plan a holiday, go back to work, simply run a few errands around your neighbourhood. Visit the park or go and see your family rather than inviting them to visit you. Whatever you do, make a point of pushing yourself to get beyond your front door.