Suffering a serious injury has the potential to turn your life completely on its head. However, things become potentially even more life-changing when that injury is serious enough to be legally classified as a disability. In this case, you could soon find yourself physically unable to work and to do the things you once loved or possibly even being confined to a wheelchair for the rest of your life. It is essential that you know exactly which steps to take in order to make the transition as smooth as possible and thus give yourself the best chances of living a normal life in spite of your disability.
Make Your Home More Accessible
No matter whether your disability is temporary or permanent, one of the first things you’ll need to do is make your home more conducive to living with your disability. Depending on the exact nature of the injury, this could include installing either temporary or permanent wheelchair ramps, handicap accessible showers and toilets, etc. On the other hand, it could also include simpler tasks like moving your bedroom or laundry facilities to the ground floor or even rearranging your cabinets to prevent you from having to bend over or reach too much.
Understand Your Legal Options
Depending on where and how the injury occurred, you may have a legal claim to compensation and could be awarded damages to cover everything from your medical expenses to necessary home repairs and money for pain and suffering. Similarly, your disability may also qualify you for various government programs and benefits. If you think you might qualify, it is important that you seek the help of a qualified lawyer in order to learn about and take advantage of all of your legal options relating to both the injury and any possible disability compensation you may be entitled to.
Don’t Forget about Your Mental Health and Well-Being
In addition to focusing on the physical aspects of your disability, it is essential that you also take your overall mental health and well-being into account. Although depression and other mental illnesses are a common cause of disability, these mental issues can also be a direct result of disability.
Suddenly being forced to quit work or give up the activities you used to love can often leave a person feeling bored, depressed and like they no longer have a place or purpose in life. Therefore, it is also vital that you take some time to focus on your mental health. In this sense, counseling can be of huge benefit. However, it’s also just as important that you do whatever you can to stay active and upbeat in order to ensure your disability doesn’t negatively affect your mental state.
Although disability is always going to have a major impact on your life, it is important that you do whatever you can to prevent it from taking over and becoming your primary focus. Living with disability is never going to be easy. However, by immediately taking the simple steps listed above, you’ll give yourself a much better chance of ensuring that the disability doesn’t take over and ruin your life.
This article is from Brooke Chaplan, a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.