While scrolling through Twitter, I came across this tweet from Cal Grevers. Independent living looks different for every disabled person. For a long time, I didn’t know what this would look like for me. I even wondered if I might have to live in a group home. I was able to move out of my parent’s house in August of last year.
I live in a very rural community where options for housing, in general, are limited and expensive. Through an old acquaintance of mine, I was able to find a first-floor apartment. While it is not 100% accessible, it works for right now. I was able to have a ramp installed, and I used a bath transfer system to shower. I can get around freely in my power wheelchair and walker, and I don’t have carpets which makes it easier to move around. In the future, I’d like to remodel the bathroom so I can have a roll-in shower, but the apartment works for now.
Independent living to me, doesn’t mean doing everything 100% independently. I live with my roommate, who also is employed as my PCA. My PCA helps me with tasks like bathing and cooking. These tasks are more challenging for me to complete by myself.
However, I make my own decisions whenever I can. I enjoy deciding what I’d like for dinner and when I go to bed at night. One of my favorite things about living in my apartment is that I have a TV in my room. Typically, I watch a movie or show before bedtime. Perhaps the best thing about living on my own is that I can see my friends whenever I would like. My friends and I get together and watch TV and go on walks. We don’t have to be doing anything special. Some of the happiest times I have had are when we watch TV together or wander up and down the snack and candy aisles at the local drugstore. It’s a great feeling to have friends who enjoy my company and hang out with me.
Independent living looks different for everybody, but all people deserve to live life on their terms.