The summer months are chock-full of fun activities, and most of these activities are outside. For those living with MS, being outdoors for an extended period of time can be taxing on both the body and mind. I have a list of things that I do in the summer months to stay calm, COOL, and collected when being outdoors, so I too can enjoy these fun activities with everyone else.
I think it’s safe to say that this summer, so far, is shaping up to look a lot different than last years. Being in the height of the pandemic and COVID cases still on the rise at that time, the summer was just another period to get through living in a changed world. With individuals having the opportunity to be vaccinated this year, the summer months are being celebrated once again. And hopefully in a safe manner. For some this will mean getting the chance to travel again and thinking about their accessibility needs in doing so.
Traveling can be an exciting and exhilarating experience for those who enjoy it. So, making plans and preparations that will ensure the trip is a great one is an important step. For those living with a disability, having the right accessibility measures in place for travel is imperative. From the planning stages to the endpoint of the journey there are different factors to consider. The destination itself, the mode of transport, accessibility of sites and attractions, and accommodations are all elements significant to the plan. It can sound tedious and like a lot of work but making sure the trip will be safe and enjoyable is the ultimate goal.
For those making travel plans, COVID has unfortunately added another layer to the planning piece this season. Checking with destinations on their COVID policies and procedures and with the mode of transport you plan to take are additional steps now to ensure safety. If able, working with a travel agent for assistance planning your trip can help in this initial phase. For many destinations they have websites for visitors and tourists traveling to their area and offer helpful information and resources online.
If you plan to travel this summer, be sure to consider what your travel and care needs look like. Are you using a mobility device, do you need your accommodations to have specific accessibility features? Would you be traveling with medications and need documentation from your doctor? Are the sites you’re visiting accessible? What about restroom accessibility? Trails, walking paths, street and sidewalk access? Are you heat sensitive with your MS symptoms and need to think of climate? These are just some aspects to think of when making plans for your journey. It can be fun but making sure it’s also safe and accommodating for you is key.
Wishing you a safe and pleasant journey!
June 20th marks the first day of summer, however, the heat didn’t seem to wait for summer to officially start this year. Once May came, the heat wasted no time in making its big debut. June is here now, and we have already seen temperatures over 90 degrees. Woah! Adding MS to that equation can make for an unbearable summer for those experiencing heat sensitivity. I’d love to offer you a few resources that Continue reading
We are midway through the year, and what a year 2020 has been so far. We haven’t seen one like it before, and let’s hope the second half of the year brings better things. But each day we are now seeing the world slowly start to open back up. That helps instill hope, I think. Like maybe there’s light at the end of this winding, unpredictable tunnel. And while people are re-entering workplaces, stores are reopening, and beaches are populated again, hopefully safety measures and precautions will help keep people safe. Regardless, it looks like Continue reading
During some of the hottest days of the year, one of the best ways to cool down (and support MSAA at the same time) is to participate in our Swim for MS initiative! Swim for MS is a do-it-yourself fundraiser where you create your own individual or group swim challenge and recruit donations to support the MS community. Past participants have created cannonball jumping contests, backyard pool parties, stand-up paddleboard contests, and more to raise funds for MSAA’s free programs and services.
Team Strong Girls Swim, made up of mother and daughter duo, Sara and Anabella, decided that they Continue reading
I love zucchini in the summer. It’s the easiest summer side dish to make and is in season to buy for a great price! I live in New Jersey, so tomatoes are delicious this time of year!
Ingredients: Continue reading
By Alene Brennan
I used to love summer.
As a Jersey girl, I spent my summers “down the shore.”
But since my MS diagnosis the warmth of the sun is something I avoid… and straight up fear somedays.
I also hate the heat that summer temps bring to my workouts. I get so easily overheated. My danger zone is when it’s hot enough to raise my internal body temperature but not hot enough for me to break a sweat.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful that I can exercise as it’s something that brings me Continue reading
One of my favorite things about the Summer…is movies. Well to be honest, one of my favorite things just in general is movies. But studios pull out all the stops for the Summer Blockbusters and I look forward to it every year. The Action, the Thriller, the Suspense and Drama. Movies for me have always been a great escape. An hour and a half or so to get lost in the concerns, problems, and hijinks of the leading lady or man and be transported somewhere else. I also enjoy a good sequel. It’s like running into an old friend Continue reading
By Stacie Prada
In a conversation with coworkers years ago, one person reflected on his summers spent in their backyard pool in California. I responded with excitement and jealousy that he had his own pool when all I had was a bike! Another coworker who grew up in Hong Kong, exclaimed with awe, “You had a bike?!?”
Wow. I laughed at my own ignorance to my privilege. To think she grew up in a large city and didn’t have a bike at all made me realize just how special it was Continue reading
By Lauren Kovacs
Let me see, MS has pretty much taken summer hostage for many MSers. Some things we can in fact re-claim, with modifications. We have to learn to put our own spin on things.
Plan, plan, plan. You kind of have to go into a situation knowing all your options and the “what if.” The “Last-minute Lucy” folks won’t like this. Know your own body.
With three Boy Scouts at home, the moto of “Always Be Prepared” rings true for most MS folks. Remember the heat is usually not our friend. Summer means heat. Heat means Continue reading