The Important of Independent Living Options
At Hands of Heartland, our activities and the programs we’ve created all go towards driving our central philosophy that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are first and foremost people. As part of this philosophy, our programs are designed to promote independence and help our residents to interact with the community around them. Success in this sphere means that we also provide the tools, support, and guidance that will lead to our participant’s ability to live as independently as possible. For some, this might mean they are living in a group-home style setting we refer to as a continuous residential arrangement, while others are able to live in an independent living situation. Let’s dig deeper into independent living as a residential arrangement and why it’s important to the autonomy of those who thrive in these settings.
The Independent Route
Independent living arrangements allow for people with an IDD to cohabitate in a space with one other individual who is equally capable of living independently with minimal oversight. While the residences themselves are designed to accommodate the needs of the occupants, independent living houses do not have a dedicated on-site caregiver, but do allow the residents to access any support they feel they need.
By placing two individuals in a household without the constant oversight of family, caregivers, or other residents, the independent living arrangement helps occupants achieve several milestones in their personal development.
Learning How to Communicate With Others and How to Work Towards Common Goals
People with IDD often struggle with interpersonal skills, socialization, and organizational skills. By placing two individuals with similar abilities in a single household, they learn to rely upon each other’s strengths and how to work together to take care of the shared space.
Healthy Decision Making and Accountability
In working together, the residents can make decisions about how the household should be run, when various household chores should be performed, and how to hold each other accountable in the process.
Safely Discover Limitations and Push the Boundaries of What’s Possible
Without constant oversight in the home, residents are encouraged to explore the limits of their own abilities and discover what they are capable of, with the reassurance that they can easily reach out for assistance if they become overwhelmed or faced with a task they cannot figure out together. They can gradually become more self-reliant and self-sufficient over time in such a setting.
Self Care and Fitness
Living independently allows people with disabilities to learn about health and nutrition and develop their own routines and eating habits to support their personal health. Because they are performing more tasks for themselves throughout the day, they are more active, and they are improving their coordination and dexterity.
Living Their Best Lives
There is little more empowering for an individual who has spent most of their lives under the care of others than to be given the opportunity to learn how to care for themselves. While Hands of Heartland makes a number of living arrangements available to residents, our ultimate goal is to empower those who are capable to pursue independent living arrangements and support those individuals with the peripheral care and oversight they need. To learn more about our independent living services in Omaha and Bellevue, and our other residential services, feel free to reach out to our team of professionals, who are more than happy to help you decide which of our residence options are most appropriate for your loved ones.