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Resources by Topic >> Independent Living

Leaving the family home to take care of yourself brings new levels of freedom and independence but also requires maturity, responsibility and planning. There are a lot of details you don’t think about until you have to handle them for yourself. Basic things like housework, paying bills and getting and preparing food take time and can’t be put off until you’re in the mood. The resources here will help you sort out what you can handle, how to manage it and whom to turn to for help.

Housing: Whose roof you live under is one of the key measures of independence? When you are head of the household, or part of the team, you have a say in how things operate. It’s a great feeling, but also a big responsibility. Signing a lease or a loan brings financial and other obligations that carry the weight of law. In one way you’re on your own, but you’re also agreeing to play by some grown-up rules. It’s important to know what you’re taking on because falling short can have serious consequences.
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Managing Money: Taking care of your finances is the basis for nearly every other aspect of living independently. You have to manage a bank account to secure your income and savings and you need to carefully manage cash, checks and bank cards to pay for what you need. Most of all, you can’t spend more than you have so making and sticking to a budget is an absolute necessity.
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Skills: Independent living requires being able to manage your home, meals and schedule. Building skills in meal preparation and household chores, shopping, and time management will help you move into independence.
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Emergency Preparedness: Emergency preparedness is the preparation and planning necessary to effectively handle an emergency. It includes developing a plan, knowing what to do and having the right resources on hand. Emergencies can include pandemics, terrorist attacks, floods, power outages, hurricanes, blizzards and tornadoes. Emergency planning and preparation are even more important for people with disabilities.
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We allow [Ryan] to have choices. There are some things that we might have to decide for him, but we always make sure that he is making decisions about his life, too.
—Susie King

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