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Independant Living Skills
Independent Living Skills
What is Independent Living?
Independent Living is living on your own; in your own apartment or house versus living in a group home or other residential provider. You take care of your own “activities of daily living” (ADLs) such as your health, hygiene, grooming, shopping, money management, laundry, home maintenance and meal preparation.
Many people with brain injury live independently and take care of all their own needs, while others may receive assistance with some activities of daily living. Programs such as Independent Living Skills Programs (ILS) or Semi Independent Living Services (SILS) can support individuals to live in the community, but provide assistance based on the person's needs. Examples of this assistance includes: receiving help to plan meals, manage budgets, learn first aid and medication usage, develop personal grooming skills, and provide education on public transportation and other community resources. ILS and SILS workers work closely with the people they serve, their families, and referral sources to develop services that meet individual needs, and individual schedules.
If you are considering living on your own you will need to determine how able you are to care for yourself in the community. Are you able to manage your money to pay your bills (like rent, food, medicine, insurance, etc…), find a safe place to live and keep it clean and organized, manage the household chores of groceries, laundry, meal preparation and so on? Would you be able to do some, but not all of these things unless you had some help?
To be eligible for ILS or SILS programs you will need to discuss this with your case manager or the hospital social worker. There are many ILS and SILS providers to choose from and you will need to carefully select the provider that is right for you. Some things to consider may include: cost, frequency of visits, and extent of services or full package versus specific needs. ILS and SILS programs are often offered by Commission on Accredited Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) accredited programs and facilities.
CARF is an independent, nonprofit accreditor of human service providers in the areas of rehabilitation, employment, child and family, community, and aging services.
Many organizations have programs that teach independent living skills to persons with disabilities to support their ability to live as independently as possible. Some independent living skills providers can visit the current residence of a person with brain injury to assist him or her with maximizing and/or maintaining independence and self direction. Staff may provide assistance with budgeting, meal planning and leisure activities. Other providers operate programs out of an office or social service agency.
For a complete listing of independent living skills programs in your area, call your local Center for Independent Living, or your local county social service agency, see the phone listing section of the Consumer Guide.
For more information, please contact the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance at 612-378-2742 or 800-669-6442.
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