Is 2021 the year to strive for your independent living goals?

At Mable, we like to think it’s the year of trying new things. Here are a few ways you can increase your independence and how you could engage an independent support worker to work with you and guide you to meet your goals.

Learn how to budget

When you know how to budget, you can keep track of what money comes in and what goes out on expenses. Learn how to put money aside for bills, taking away unnecessary stress, and understand how much money you have to spend.

2 people working on a budget

Getting support: Post a job on Mable to find a support worker who has skills around money management, budgeting or even teaching, or someone who’s simply good at managing their own money. Here’s an example that you can copy/paste into your job ad:

“Hi, my name is Jane. I’d like to learn how to budget so I can keep track of my expenses and know how much I have to spend. I also want to learn solutions for my saving goals. I’m looking for a support worker who has skills with money and who can explain everything really easily to me.”

Create a menu plan

meal ideas on iPad

Do you ever struggle to decide what to make for breakfast, lunch and dinner each day then go to the fridge and realise you don’t have the ingredients you need? Planning your meals for the week ahead is fun and easy once you know how it could mean shopping just once a week, saving you both time and money to focus on other things.

Getting support: When searching the support worker profiles on Mable, you can filter your search results to show those who offer ‘Meal Preparation’ and ‘Shopping’.

Shop to a budget

2 people grocery shopping

It’s so easy to be tempted at the supermarket that you can spend more than you meant to. Shopping to a budget is a smart life skill you can learn which will save you money, save waste and put you in control.

Getting support: Search the support worker profiles for people who offer ‘Meal Preparation’ and ‘Shopping’. Go grocery shopping together so you can put what you’ve learned into practice.

Travel training

Person tapping his opal card

Navigating your way around town safely could help with your independence and get to and from work, school, uni and any medical and dental appointments or job interviews you have, with ease. Learn what public transport options are best for you, how to pay for your trip and what concessions are available to you.

Getting support: Search the support worker profiles for those who offer ‘Activities, Outings & Community Access’ and ‘Provide Transport’.

Cyber safety

The Internet can be a tricky place so it’s very important you learn how to choose secure passwords, stay safe from online scams, protect your privacy and avoid cyberbullying.

Young girl learning cyber safety from Support Worker

Getting support: We recommend posting a job so support workers who have the kinds of skills you need can respond and help you stay safe and happy online. Here’s an example that you can copy/paste into your job ad:

“Hi, my name is Fred. I spend a lot of time online and I need to know how to stay safe on the Internet. I’m looking for a patient support worker who can show me things like choosing a secure password, avoiding online scams, installing virus protection and more. Must be able to show me on my own computer.”

Maintaining a household

Woman helping a man to dry dishes.

Learn the best ways to keep your home clean, tidy and well organised, pay bills, arrange maintenance and more.  Learn how to wash the dishes and put a load of washing on. Discover how to hire a plumber or order groceries online. The more you can do for yourself, the less you’ll have to wait for others to be available.

Getting started: There are lots of support workers on Mable who will be able to show you how to conquer these tasks. Search the profiles and use the filters to narrow down their skills, interests and services.

Practice runs

To make sure you feel comfortable with any new efforts you’re making to be more independent, we recommend doing a couple of practice runs.

  • Getting used to living away from home – If you’re planning to move soon, you could book a hotel or an Airbnb for a weekend, not far from home, to see how you feel.
  • Grocery shopping on your own – Have your support worker come with you but wait outside the supermarket. If you need help, they’ll be right there.
  • Travel training – Again, have your support worker come with you but keep apart so you can get comfortable with making decisions on your own. If you need help, they’re there.

So … what kind of independent living skills are you going to tackle this year?