Whether you live alone or with other people, these are things to keep in mind for yourself to make things easier. Essentially, a game plan every disabled person should consider.
After high school, there were things I had to plan for when going off to college because even though I would have roommates, I was also going to be living on my own for the first time. While I had a safety net for when things could possibly go wrong (and they would) I had to think about ways I could rely on myself in case I was on my own at the dorm. Plus, we haven’t done a list in a bit so here we go.
This is a given, but ensuring said food and sustenance is an easy reach is the main thing to consider. Refrigerated items are limited since the best bet is to have a good reach (or grabby stick) or a mini refrigerator that’s put at the right height.
Having snacks or food that can be stored wherever one needs it is helpful. Whether that’s bread, crackers, chips, keeping them close by in the pantry or in a snack cart will ensure you have access to food for when you’re feeling hungry. Of course, if you can cook and prep a meal that’s even better but if you can’t or don’t have enough energy for it, then you have a simple alternative.
As for water, I’ve found that having a water cooler is very helpful since my range of motion is limited. Having one for yourself could be beneficial if it’s difficult to access the sink or refrigerator. Keeping water bottles nearby or with you while you’re out works too.
Since these are items we tend to use often, they’ll normally be kept near us anyway. But make sure to either have a specified spot for them or attach a device on them if you tend to put them in different places. My friends would misplace their personal belongings quite a bit so they put a tracker on their keys and wallet because they couldn’t find them or forget where they set them. This is an idea to consider if you’re constantly looking for your things, that way you can save time and energy without needing to dig through your place.
For heavier items, you can probably just leave it on your mobility aid, such as your wheelchair, as long as your body isn’t shouldering the brunt of the weight yourself. Otherwise again, set it at your height so you can grab it with ease for when you need it.
- Phone/Emergency Device
If you use devices such as Life Alert or other companies that can help you in emergencies, these are usually kept around the neck or on the body anyway. If you don’t use it, then your phone is probably the main thing you use to call for help. Keeping it close is generally best but if you drop or lose it, ensure there’s another device at the ready that can serve as a backup for those instances. Whether that’s a tablet/laptop that is connected to your messages or phone or another voice assistant that’s connected to the internet.
- Storage Container or Drawer with Commonly Used Items
That may sound vague, but essentially have a place with specific things you use on a daily basis. An informal utility/tool kit if you will. A place to keep scissors, tape (especially duct tape), ruler, rubber bands, plastic bags, and any other useful tools that can come in handy for you. Even if not everything in it makes sense, what matters is that they serve a purpose for you.
Obviously, every place has one, but make sure you can actually use it. If opening doors is difficult, using a scarf or ribbon on the handle can make pulling it easier. If you happen to use an automatic door opener, make sure you have a Plan B for if it ever malfunctions. Either a way to reset it yourself or a way to open the door manually.
Even if some of this sounds obvious or common knowledge, I’d like to think that I’ve also provided little tips and tricks that may become useful as well. Sharing experiences is a good way to provide new ideas and understanding after all.
So if you have other thoughts you’d like to add, please comment down below. Or simply leave a like.
~*~ After taking a week off and spending time to relax it did bring back memories that sometimes feel like a lifetime ago, especially now. But it was a good time to reflect, so hopefully you can take time for yourself too. Take care and be well ~So Says The Disabled Dryad~