What are independent living skills?
Have you heard of terms like 'daily living skills', 'activities of daily living', 'independent living skills', and 'life skills', but they all amount to the same thing; they’re the everyday tasks you need to do to live as independently as you choose. These help you to manage your home and personal life; from preparing a meal, making a drink and keeping the house clean, to looking after your appearance and organising your clothes.
If you have a significant vision impairment, learning, retaining or regaining various daily living skills around the home will help to improve your confidence, independence and wellbeing.
This could involve using aids and equipment, different skills and strategies, quick fixes or technology. If you’re not a fan of technology, there are a lot of low, or no-tech, solutions too.
Habilitation or rehabilitation?
If you’re learning a life skill for the first time, we call that habilitation; if you’re re-learning the skill, we talk about rehabilitation. They’re crucial in ensuring that anyone with a vision impairment can live as independently as possible.
Life skills form part of habilitation for children and young people and vision rehabilitation for adults.
Why are independent living skills important?
Being independent has a variety of benefits including:
- Reducing your reliance on family, friends and others
- Keeping you safe
- Increasing your self-confidence, self-esteem and wellbeing
- It'll improve your ability to be a part of your community (your social inclusion)
How can I learn independent living skills with sight loss?
Sighted people usually learn skills by observing and mimicking others and find out how things work by looking at them. If you have sight loss, this process may be more difficult, or even, impossible.
If you were previously sighted, you may have an awareness of these skills but you’re not sure how to adapt them now that you have a vision impairment. Or you may have had a vision impairment before you needed to learn these skills.
Our tips will give you the strategies, skills and advice on equipment for independent living you’ll need to make completing these everyday tasks easier and less stressful. They're for anyone who has a vision impairment; whether you’ve been blind or partially sighted since birth or childhood, or have more recently experienced sight loss or deterioration.