When you have a disability and you decide not to let the aging process rob you of your independence, there are plenty of ways to have a great life. Many people with a disability simply are not comfortable moving to be near children or other close family for a variety of reasons.
Perhaps they aren’t really close to their children or they don’t like the region that they have chosen to live in. Frankly, they may be concerned about what may be asked of them in return for the help they receive. Whatever the reason for the decision, there are many alternatives.
Whatever the situation, one subject that needs to be discussed is finances. If you become gravely ill or die, then how your family is going to cope needs to be addressed. Further, it makes sense to have traveling expenses put aside so they can get to you. Families have many expenses and it is often hard to squeeze out extra money, especially if they have children, and if you have a disability and are ill they are going to want to be there.
The first place to look for additional support if you have a disability is the large number of resources in your own town. As long as your town is of any reasonable size, you will find many support groups available.
As an adjunct to local organizations there are many, many groups that offer services online. One example is “Disability Empowerment.” This site offers assistance to folks with disabilities all the way from getting jobs to obtaining legal assistance; it also has a way to share feelings and ideas with others.
Another great site is “The National Adult Protective Services Association.” This is such an important site because it gives you a resource to contact if you are feeling abused or if you feel threatened and cannot protect your own rights. It is a sad fact of life that people do try to prey on the aging and those with disabilities.
One thing that has worked for aging adults with disabilities begins with the AARP, finding friends. Maybe you have a few extra bucks and you have a friend who does not have a disability but is struggling to make ends meet. You can help one another. Power comes from relationships and the independence for both of you remains in tact.
There is a reason that you decided to stay put: independence. People who have disabilities often give different reasons why they don’t move, but typically it is because they prize their independence.
When you decide to stay where you live you have many options. You have local organizations, online organizations and friends. As long as you don’t have to worry about any financial stress that may occur if something happens to you, enjoy yourself. At that point it is up to the family to initiate contact, but remember to always remain approachable.
The best thing a person with a disability who has chosen independence can do is treat each day as a new adventure!