Like most young adults, I’m eager to leave the nest and live independently. But, at 25, I’m not able to bathe or dress myself. I need the help of an attendant. My parents help me with these needs. However, I’m looking to become more responsible and relieve my parents of some of the stress of caring for me.
To find good attendant care requires time, research and diligence. Finding an attendant is similar to finding a babysitter, interviewing to find the one who will be the best fit for me and my needs. I plan to go through a home health agency to hire an attendant.
Once I’m in my wheelchair, I’m fairly independent. I can brush my teeth, comb my hair, feed myself and perform many other tasks on my own. The only time I need assistance during the day is with bathroom needs.
Learning to drive was a scary, but big step toward becoming independent. I’m now ready to conquer some of my other fears. Each new day gives me the opportunity to accomplish something that I wasn’t able to do yesterday.
The independent living philosophy encourages people with disabilities to be part of a fully-inclusive community. I would not be as involved in the disability community if it wasn’t for the disAbility Resource Center (dRC) in North Charleston, SC. The dRC is an organization focused on empowering people with disabilities to live as independently as possible. For more information about dRC, visit their website: www.drcilc.org.