In the winter, I rely on para-transit a lot more than the rest of the year. When going out in bad weather there is a lot to think about and it can be easy to become discouraged. I do not want to go out in bad weather and risk getting stuck. When I can’t walk to places or take the city bus I have no choice but to use the more expensive para-transit services. I try to go to places close to home and avoid unnecessary errands, for example, I let my hair grow longer in the winter. Eventually I get used to the cold weather and I begin to challenge myself to venture out into what the winter brought this year. While it is harder to get around during the winter season and everyone is different, the worst thing I could do is let it become an impossible barrier. I just need to keep in mind that it is completely natural to slow things down during the "winter wonderland" time of year.
I have found some good strategies for dealing with the winter months. First, I avoid the puddle from my walker wheels by putting my walker on a boot pad or tray. My transportation budget is based around para-transit and in the winter I budget for extra para-transit cab services and I ask around for rides more often. I try to avoid slipping on ice by staying in at night. When it comes to the snow mounds, if they are iced over I may be out of luck, but if the snow is not frozen I bang it with my walker and make a dent or I may get around the side. For me, the main thing is to ease into winter and I know that by the time I am finally used to the cold weather, it is already near the end.
It never hurts to Google any ideas you may have too so you can enjoy the winter conditions inside and out. If you are stuck in a rut thinking of what to do check your paper for free events, ask your friends if they know of anything or check with the park and rec to see if there’s a free or inexpensive class. You can even choose to be a home body. Binge on T.V, reorganize your space, start a hobby, or work on a goal for the spring.
Also, with some help, assistive technology (AT), and good planning; I am able to enjoy the winter season earlier rather than later. I encourage you to ask around, or read the MDRC AT blog at http://www.miassisttech.org/mdrcat or more specifically they have a webinar about winter archived at http://www.mymdrc.org/assistive-tech/webinars/archived-webinars/267-your-assistive-technology-in-winter.
Enjoy the winter and Happy New Year.