Tools for Independent Living

December 3 is International Day of People with Disabilities. The WHO and UN come together to observe this day by promoting the importance of equal rights for people with disabilities. We wish to help honor this day by promoting inclusivity and the right of all persons to lead independent lives. Through our various life skills titles, we offer every person the building blocks needed to live successful lives in the real world.

Personal Safety

Everyone should be safe at home. It is easy to make sure things are working. This will keep you and your home safe. Things like fire or carbon monoxide can be deadly. Make sure you have smoke detectors installed. Carbon monoxide detectors should be on every floor. Help keep your things safe when you are out. Do this by locking your doors and windows. Having bright lights outside also helps.

Safety Tip: Don’t mix cleaners. Never breathe in or put something on your skin. Keep them in a safe place away from kids and pets.

There are many things you can do to protect your home. You should know how to use household products safely. There are symbols on things that could be dangerous. These are WHIMIS symbols. They tell you what the dangers are.

WHIMIS Symbols

For more tips, check out our Practical Life Skills – Independent Living ready-made resource. Try out this related free activity first.

Household Care

You will have to do laundry once a week as well. During the day, your clothes get dirty. It is important to always wear fresh, clean clothes every day.

How to do Laundry:

  1. Treat stains with a stain remover.
  2. Separate whites and colors.
  3. Measure detergent and fabric softener.
  4. Pick the water temperature.
  5. Pick your setting.

Download this free color poster to become familiar with key laundry labels. Then, try out these other related free worksheets from the full lesson plan, Daily Health & Hygiene Skills.

Loans, Credit & Borrowing

Using only your net income, how long would it take to save for the entire price of a home? Would you have to save for decades in order to buy a car? It would be very hard for most people to save this amount of money. This is when a loan comes in handy.

Important Terms to Know:
Lender – Someone who gives out a loan, like a bank.
Borrower – The one accepting the loan.

Borrowers must agree to the terms of the lender. These could include how long the loan is going to be repaid in, or how much interest is charged. Your credit score and loan history will affect the interest rate. The principal is the amount of money the loan is for. It is the value of the purchase, like the cost of a house. For every day you haven’t paid the loan back, it earns interest. Interest is added to the principal, so there is some perk for the lender.

Having a loan doesn’t mean you will be in debt forever. Lots of loans have a set end date, unlike credit cards. If you continue to make your monthly payments on time, they will be paid off. Have patience! Think wisely about your loan and if the terms are fair. As you achieve more of your goals, the loan will be easier to pay off!

Download this free color poster to understand what your credit score means. Then, check out the Real World Life Skills – Financial Literacy Skills ready-made lesson plan to learn more about your finances.

Coping Skills

Everyone feels stressed at some point in their life. Most people feel it a lot of the time. Whether it’s worried about a test coming up. Or dealing with a recipe not coming together. Stress is everywhere. Stress is when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Anxiety is a heightened form of stress. It is not as common, but people still suffer from it. Anxiety is a panic feeling over something.

Stress and Anxiety Comparison Chart

Coping skills aren’t always positive or healthy. There are ways to cope that are actually harmful. Substance abuse and self-harm are common. They may provide temporary relief, but they’re actually causing more harm. Avoiding the problem is another unhealthy coping skill. It doesn’t solve the problem. It only prolongs it. You can overcome these unhealthy coping skills with help from others. Start a program with a mental health professional. They’ll help identify challenges and make a plan to cope with healthy habits.

Get tips on helpful coping skills, like Self-Talk and Breathing Exercises with these related free activities from our Applying Life Skills – Your Personal Relationships ready-made lesson plan.

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