3 tips for helping a person with a disability in Australian winter

Melbourne winters can be hard on anyone, regardless of whether they live with a disability or not. Those grey, rainy days; those frosty, stormy nights – they drag on for a period that seems to eclipse our summer months!

As a carer for someone living with a disability, you would know just how much winter can take its toll on the affected person. The cold and chilly months can have a negative impact on their sense of wellbeing, especially if they are unable to get out and enjoy their favourite activities as much.

When it comes to disability service providers Melbourne, there are numerous things you can do to ensure your patient’s mental and physical wellbeing are upheld during the winter months, so here are a few tips for doing just that!

  1. See if there is something new they would like to try

Whilst outdoor physical exercise is one of the best things for mental health, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of indoor activities that can be enjoyed in a way that is fun and exciting!

So, ask your patient: “are there any new activities or hobbies you’ve been thinking you would like to try?” The indoor activity potential is limitless, with everything from language learning to painting, scrapbooking and writing all on the agenda.

Being stuck inside during the winter months can be really tough – it’s always a good time of year to try something new that doesn’t necessarily involve being in the biting wind and rain!

  1. Help them keep updated with friends & family

People go into hibernation in the winter months – that’s perfectly normal. It seems to happen so fast in Melbourne, with people suddenly going from hanging out in parks and gardens to spending all day and night curled up on the couch watching the footy or a movie. This can make things difficult for people living with a disability, as socialising dries up as the weather gets wetter.

So, it’s important to help your patient keep updated with friends and family regardless of whether they are able to see them in person as much. In the digital era there are many ways this can be done, as people aren’t bridled to meeting in public or the old landline anymore.

Whether it’s a Zoom call, Facebook Messenger chat, online class or, of course, the faithful phone call, there is no reason why the year’s colder months should inhibit your patient’s ability to socialise.

  1. Get out where possible!

Melbourne is a great city, and a city that has plenty of indoor fun and excitement to help beat the winter blues! With everything from the National Gallery of Victoria’s Winter Masterpieces (Picasso this year!) to the incredible LUME interactive gallery, through to indoor sporting events like an AFL game under Marvel Stadium’s closed roof, there are plenty of fabulous events that take place even when the weather outside is less than inviting…

It’s a good time for everyone

As a carer, you will know that it’s also important for you to look after your own mental health in such a challenging position. Healthy activities such as those mentioned above are a great way to maintain both yours and your patient’s mental health.

Sure, there are going to be times where you kick back and settle in for some telly, but it’s also good to keep the fun going and the creativity flowing when things get icy in old Melbourne town!

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