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Your housing choice will depend on many variables: finances, your health, your comfort level with living with others, and your ability or desire to manage your household. There are a number of options for housing for adults with hemiplegia.
- Purchasing a home
- Renting a home or apartment
- Sharing living expenses with roommates
- Living in a group home in the community
- Living with relatives
- Living in a dorm on campus during college
Where you choose to live may depend on your transportation needs. If you do not drive, you’ll want to consider a location that has access to quality public transportation. The weather may also be a consideration for many who choose not to shovel snow.
Fire Safety for Students with Disabilities- Some of the content in this guide can be applied to choosing your apartment, work place, or housing
Part of becoming independent means managing your own healthcare. You’ll need to make decisions about health insurance, choose physicians and other healthcare professionals, and manage your diet, exercise program, and medications.
If you are not prevented from driving due to epilepsy, attention or vision problems, read more on our Driving page. If driving a car isn’t for you, you’ll want to live in a city that has public transportation (bus or train) unless you’re independently wealthy and can hire a driver. In many states, if you receive Medicaid, there’s a system in place to help you make it to doctor visits, but this doesn’t do anything to help with transportation to work or social events. Sometimes the Department of Rehabilitation can set up transportation as they’re helping you transition into a job, but their transportation support will probably end when they stop providing services. Some cities that do not have public transportation still have a system that will transport the elderly and people with disabilities, so call your city to see if this is available. Other sources of transportation include walking, biking, relying on family and friends, and taking a cab. Some larger cities have car and van pools which may provide an additional option for getting to your office.
Friends and Fun – Creating Your Social Circle
You’re working hard to become independent and live on your own, but don’t forget to schedule some time for fun! Check out our Dating and Friends page.
Friends and family are an important part of your support system. Sometimes individuals with hemiplegia may find it difficult to socialize and this can be due to a variety of reasons. It may take more energy for you to move and maybe even to think, so the thought of leaving the house after work may feel like a bit too much for you. Medications for epilepsy may have side effects and may cause you to feel tired. You may feel down or depressed because you have differences and this may make you reluctant to leave the house or socialize.
Watch Out for Depression
Not all people with hemiplegia experience depression and for those who do, their depression may have little to do with their disability. But, depression can sometimes be a problem. People with disabilities face many unique problems and challenges which may place them at increased risk for depression. Mobility and transportation issues, needing help from others, dealing with negative attitudes towards people with disabilities, employment discrimination, and health issues are examples of challenges that can add up and contribute to the risk of depression. The good news is that depression can be treated. Counseling or psychotherapy can help people learn to cope with depression and to deal with the issues that may be contributing to the depression. Antidepressant medications can help restore the chemical balance in the brain that is altered when someone becomes depressed. If you think that you may be depressed, seek out the services of a mental health provider. Types of providers include psychologists, counselors, social workers, and psychiatrists.