University of Southern California Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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When You Don't Live in a Home

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When You Don't Live in a Home

Large house

You can choose how you live if you live in your own home

"There's no place like home." "Your home is your castle." Why do people say this?

You still have some freedom to choose when you live with someone.

Family group

Some people with spinal cord injuries live with their family

What choices can you make about your home?

Woman with dog

You might be able to have a pet where you live. They can make you feel good!

  • The way it looks:
    • Nice colors on the walls and furniture.
    • Pretty pictures.
    • Plants that grow.
    • Flowers in a vase.
    • Lots of light, from windows or lamps.
  • A pet.
    • Not all places allow a pet. Check the rules.
    • Some places that say "no" to dogs and cats still say "yes" to a small pet.
      • Even a small pet, like a fish or hamster, can make you feel good.
  • The things that are easy to reach.
  • Is it easy to get around in your home?
    • Being able to move around a place easily is called accessibility (ak-SESS-uh-BILL-uh-tee).
  • For tips about making your home right for you, read our page called "Home."

It might not be the same when you don't live in a home. This means living in a place that is not private. This means sharing a place with people who are not your friends or loved ones. This means living in a place where there are rules. What are examples of this?

  • A nursing home.
  • A group home.
  • A board-and-care.
  • A place for rehab.
  • A hospital.
  • Jail.

These are places where you might not have a lot of choices. You might not feel as independent. Independent means you can make personal choices.