It’s a virtue sung by Beyoncé. A theme of many Hollywood blockbusters. Fiercely fought for on the battlefields and barricades, in the streets or the privacy of your own home, independence is the hard-won right to make your own life choices and the quality to look after yourself with limited help from others.
In our culture, self-sufficiency is synonymous to strength, empowerment and liberation. Unfortunately, it’s also an issue most people with chronic illness and disabilities struggle with on a daily basis.
The loss of independence in long-term sickness or disability can take many forms. From being housebound and having to rely on state benefits for financial support to needing help with grocery shopping, doing chores around the house or driving to doctor’s appointments.
Having to dependent on others for your most basic needs can have a huge impact on your daily life, self-image and relationships.