How the elderly, and people living with a disability, can retain their independence
Gaining and maintaining our independence can be a daunting task, especially as we age or develop disabilities. Thankfully there are organisations like ConnectAbility (based in Newcastle and the Central Coast, NSW) who specialise in helping their clients develop and maintain independence in line with your needs and goals. There are many ways to maintain your independence which we will cover including but not limited to the most important, maintaining your health:
- Maintained health
- Accessible information
- Adequate income
- A fully accessible transport system
- Full access to the environment
- Availability of accessible adapted housing
- Adequate provision of personal assistance
- Community engagement
- Let ConnectAbility help you out.
Maintaining and keeping on top of your health can help stop small problems from becoming larger ones. No matter who you are and what age you are, the basic advice for staying healthy is the same:
- Eat healthily.
- Get enough sleep.
- Stay physically and mentally active.
- Take any prescription medications, as ordered.
- Keep up with routine health screenings.
- Get regular eye and dental exams.
Having access to information can be a challenge for some, however, information is at the tip of our fingers on our mobile devices. If you’re having trouble accessing information, staff at your local library or at support groups such as ConnectAbility are happy to help you find and access the appropriate information for your situation. Keeping yourself and your family up to date on today’s changing world will go a long way to helping you keep and maintain your independence.
Acquiring or maintaining an adequate income will easily help you maintain your independence. Whether this is from Centrelink, a part-time job, your super (once you’re old enough), or some other financial decision such as investments… having an income allows you to pay your own way without having to rely on charity from others. Having an adequate income will also help ensure that you’re able to live where in a place that you’re comfortable.
Depending on where you live, you may or may not have access to public transportation. That’s where companies such as ConnectAbility come in handy with their fleet of accessible vehicles, to support participation in your chosen activity. If you do live close to public transportation, we can provide travel training, to help develop your independence while living in a central location close to public transport, businesses, and services.
Being able to get in and out of places you want to go to can be a challenge, but having technology, or someone to assist you, will help keep the freedom of movement independence maintained. At ConnectAbility we offer a range of services from aged care support services to our concierge model for supporting independent living.
Working with a support worker can be the best way to ensure you have full access to your environment. Our staff work with you to plan adventures, holidays, shopping trips, and anything else you need or want to get done. They’re there to help you make the best out of the situation and enjoy your life to its fullest.
Having access to housing with assistive technology will make your life a lot easier. You should consider having safety rails installed on stairs and in the bathrooms in and around the shower, bathtub, and toilet to reduce the likelihood of you slipping over.
Placing anti-slip mats in wet areas of the home such as the kitchen or bathroom is another effective way to prevent falls. Also consider removing or repairing tripping hazards such as loose carpet, slippery rugs, or flooring that sticks up.
Removing clutter around the home will not only make you feel better about your environment, but also goes a long way to reducing your chances of tripping and falling. Having brighter lightbulbs around the house will help you see hazards before you get to them.
Sometimes organising things can be a challenge, having someone available to help you out when needed is great and can help relieve some of your stress while still maintaining your independence. Here at ConnectAbility we believe in offering a supported independent living solution as everyone’s needs are different. Finding a provider that you trust and are comfortable with can be challenging at the best of times, that’s why we pride ourselves in offering a personal, flexible, centred on you approach to help you and your family achieve your goals.
Keeping in touch with your family and friends can be a challenge for anyone as people get busy and don’t have much spare time. We never want to feel like a burden to our loved ones, so having other groups and activities you can do outside of your normal circle can be a blessing. ConnectAbility offers group activities and encourages their clients to attend our events or drop into the Jesmond Neighbourhood Centre to find out how you can be involved in our programmes.
One very important consideration when choosing a provider is their registration status. Registered providers must:
- Have staff undertake worker screenings.
- Criminal record checks (non-registered providers do not).
- Have formal complaints processes in place to address any concern (non-registered providers do not).
- Are required to undertake independent audit processes to maintain registration (non-registered providers do not).
Here at ConnectAbility, we are fully registered providers who take pride in keeping up to date with all the latest developments in Aged and Disability Care. We treat each person as an individual and understand and acknowledge that you come to us with a history and a desired future. We have clients all over Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens, Maitland, and other Lower Hunter local government areas. Contact ConnectAbility today on 02 4962 1000 (Warabrook, Newcastle) or 02 4349 3700 (Central Coast) to speak with someone today about what we can do for you. Alternatively, fill out the contact form on our website by clicking here, email us at [email protected], or visit us at 26 Warabrook Blvd Warabrook, or 4 Karalta Lane Erina.