Learning To Live On Your Own

What do you need to know in order to live independently? It may seem like a very simple question, but it’s not! Many of the skills that help us live independently in the community are skills that aren’t always taught at home or in school. The problem then is how do you learn them when there is no one to teach you?

Disability Network/Lakeshore (DNL) began offering Independent Living Skills Training last year. Using a program developed by the University of Montana called “Healthy Community Living (HCL),” the skills taught in these workshops included the very basics of independent living: self-care, how to access transportation, money management, interacting with others, and much, much more. It was quite exciting to see young adults learning the skills needed to live on their own.

This year, DNL is again offering Independent Living Skills Trainings. We’ve added a new program to improve the workshops. SNAP is a program that helps the instructor put the information being presented into plain language, making it easier to understand.

There is a great need for young adults to have access to the information being presented in these workshops. Where else can you go to learn how to handle a roommate who is causing problems, or the steps one must go through to do the laundry? Most of us don’t remember being taught these things. We learned as we went; it was more of a “sink or swim” way of learning. How much easier would it be though to learn in a manner other than by trial and error?

Learning how to make it through life on your own can be challenging. I’m glad DNL offers workshops that help young people learn the ins and outs of independent living. It’s information we all need to know!

If you know someone who would be interested in participating in Independent Living Skills Training, please contact Disability Network/Lakeshore at 616.396.5326.