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How Important Is Having An Active Social Life When You Have A Disability?

Having a social community and nurturing social connections is important for all of us to stay healthy and happy. Having good social circles and growing friendships can have many benefits such as sharing knowledge; building up social skills; and reducing anxiety levels. There can even be benefits to your health, such as building up your immune system.

Being an active member of social communities can be hugely beneficial to those with a disability. In the digital age, loneliness is becoming an increasing issue. Lots of us are placing a bigger focus on our online social communities, and forgetting to make real-world connections. Although the digital space might be a great way to find new people, nothing can beat face to face contact to get rid of the feelings of loneliness. The more human contact we have, the better we become at it!

***sacare social tip***
Looking to make some new friends? Why not contact your local council and see what kinds of community groups they have. Joining community groups is a great way to meet people who have similar interests to you!

Alice Waterman, our wonderful participant from Briarholm (who also happens to be our resident blogger) lives a very socially active life. Every time we check in to say ‘hey,’ she’s in-between friend appointments, or has just finished up a busy day of activities.

We thought that in the spirit of community month (and with her being an expert at being social), we would ask Alice a few questions about what community means to her and why she leads a very active social life: 

When you go out with friends what sorts of activities do you do?
When my friends and I go out, we like to go to the movies, concerts, out for lunch, or we like to play games at home.

When my friends and I go out, I bring my nurses and carer with me, sacare make this happen by giving me my own individual support.

Why is having friends important to you?
I believe it is important for people who have a disability to go out because it allows them to have a life without focusing on their disability. It is important to have friends because having friends makes people feel happy and loved.

Are you a part of any social community groups? If not, would you consider joining any, and why?
I was in a group for people who have a disability, but I am not part of that group because I am very busy.I would love to be a part of a community group again, not necessarily one with a disability focus- but somewhere I can grow and connect socially.

Having friends is important for everyone… but are there any reasons why having friends and social connections is especially important when you are someone with a disability?
I think that it is important to have friends when you have a disability because if you’re having fun you can forget about having a disability. Having a good time with friends gives me the space to enjoy myself, outside of my disability. It is also good having friends who also have a disability because they can understand my journey and we can bond over shared experiences.

For my final point, I would like to say that having friends puts us in good moods and is especially good for our mental health as well.

If you’re an NDIS participant living with a disability and seeking some support in getting out in the community more, we will happily introduce you to one of our many fantastic social support workers. Contact us and let’s have a chat! 

(Pictured: Alice Waterman with Support Worker, Lauren and Nurse, Ken)



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