Surviving or Thriving?

Post Christmas debt, short days, and two more months before the first official day of spring – I don’t think January is winning any popularity contests. According to some people find this to be the most depressing time of the year. So, what does one do in a northern city to beat the winter-time blues?

The Mother Nature Network seems to think we have it figured out, listing Edmonton as one of 8 cold weather cities worth braving in winter. I’m not disputing that the Muttart Conservatory or the World Waterpark and Ice Palace at West Edmonton Mall aren’t great attractions, but the reality is, for many people it’s just not that easy to get out and participate in our community during the winter.  

Transportation issues can leave people feeling that they’re better off staying home. Whether you’re contending with a car that won’t start, poor road conditions, icy sidewalks or relying on public transportation – lack of accessibility to activities keeps people from connecting with others.

For seniors; fixed incomes, lack of mobility, and isolation are common barriers to a healthy quality of life at this time of year. For those raising children; program fees and the cost of sports equipment can prevent participation in both indoor and outdoor activities, leaving few options for staying active and having fun, when it’s too cold to ‘just go outside and play.’

Thanks to this City of Edmonton resource, here are a few ideas to help us thrive, not just survive an Edmonton winter.

For assistance with snow shoveling, pre-screened workers have an interest in helping seniors with snow removal at a reasonable cost. Contact the organization in your area.

Safe, affordable door to door service is available for seniors who require transportation assistance. Call for further information about fees and eligibility requirements.

The Leisure Access Program gives low income adults, seniors, youth, & children free use of City of Edmonton recreation facilities & attractions, (swimming pools, fitness centers, Edmonton Valley Zoo, Fort Edmonton Park, etc.) and discounts on registered programs (daycamps, art classes, swimming lessons, etc.) for one year. For more information phone (780) 496-4918

 Until March 13th, 2014, library cards are free! Also free - drop-in programs that offer something for everyone. Check out your local library’s calendar to find days & times for programs such as: Family Story TimeTeen LoungeBaby Laptime or English Conversation Circle . All Edmonton public libraries are accessible by Edmonton transit.