So I know I’m running a little behind on my posts this week. It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost 4 weeks since I’ve moved out on my own. For as much as living on my own was a dream , I never imagined it being so difficult. I mean, I have dealt with personal assistants before. How hard can it be??
My answer: A lot different than you would expect.
If you have been with me long enough, you may remember me writing about my personal assistance experiences in college You can always go back and take a look if you’re interested. Anyway, those experiences provided a spring board for where I am today. Even with my background, nothing could have prepared me for this experience living on my own.. I will try to examine some of these lessons briefly and explain their impact on my daily life.
1. The economic aspect- Being disabled, I have two options on how I can receive my personal care. One is through a personal care agency, the other depends on the person to hire and fire their own assistants. Both offer the same service, now only difference is the money. You see, hiring personal assistants on your own only allows you to pay the person minimum wage. That is, family independent agency only gives you a certain amount of money and you have to pay them directly. The pay is based on a personal evaluation of your needs. However, if you go through a agency, the wage is a little higher. Not only that, but agencies usually provide background checks for the people they send over. In my case, I am very lucky because I get to determine what they will do for me and whether I end up hiring them.
2. Watching out for the “motherly instinct” in personal assistants- This doesn’t happen very often, but it’s something to watch out for. Sometimes personal assistants see the disabled community as someone who can’t think for themselves or simply think they know better!! This can be a very sticky situation. While it may be true that they are doing what they think is best for you, you have to remind them that you are an adult and their employer.
3. Independence versus dependence- Even though living on your own seems like it would bring a lot more independence, that is not all true. It depends on your disability and how much help you need on a daily basis