By Sylvia Leonard
The cold season can make daily life especially challenging for people living with a disability. Weather-related limitations can present barriers to participation in everyday activities, and people living with MS may feel removed from their community during the winter months—which can exacerbate the physical and psychological symptoms of MS.
Ice, snow and uneven surfaces can mean an increased risk of falling, heightened fatigue and difficulty getting around, among other challenges. While our communities have a responsibility to ensure people living with disabilities can remain mobile during our winters, there are also things you can do to stay safe throughout the winter.
Winter storms also disproportionately affect people living with disabilities. Whether you’re working through snow in a motorized wheelchair or stuck inside your home as a result of the weather, it’s important to have a plan in place for winter emergencies. Things like power outages, floods, blizzards or ice storms each bring their own set of challenges—so we’ve also put together a basic to-do list to make sure you’re prepared for any number of winter emergency situations.
Remember: support groups are good places for community building and information sharing. Join a support group to gain more strategies for getting around in winter from people living with MS.
For more information on local support groups or adapted activities offered in your area, call your local MS Society chapter at 1-800-268-7582 (programs may vary according to location).
Did we miss something that works for you? Let us know in the comments!