Going to events and being a part of a larger community is important to everybody, including people living with multiple sclerosis (MS). Whether it's a sports game, a concert, a town hall, or anything else, getting out there may help you connect with others, feel less isolated, and enrich your life.
But getting around a venue may be a challenge—especially if you have a chronic disease like MS. It's important to know what you're getting into and plan ahead.
Here are 5 ways that can help you better prepare for an event.
Maps are the best way to navigate any large venue. You can often go online and print maps out before you go. You could even download a map directly to your phone for quick, easy access wherever you end up. With a map, you can check your seating arrangement, look for the exits, and locate the first aid station, restrooms, and food vendors.
Keep in mind that large venues often have expansive parking lots. If you get there late and park toward the back, you'll have a long walk to the venue. Plan to leave early so you can park closer to the venue. There are also usually specified handicap parking spots that you can use. Be sure to research the location online before you go so you can easily find these spots.
Parking can be difficult at big venues, so you might want to consider taking public transit. This is a great way to get to an event, and you won't have to worry about parking.
If you're going to an outdoor venue, remember to look at the weather beforehand. The last thing you want is to be stuck in the rain unable to cover yourself, or stuck in warm weather and getting overheated. Wearing layers could help you adjust to the temperature outside by adding or removing clothing as you need.
Venues often have limited disability seating. If that's what you need, book your tickets early. Although the federal government mandates a certain amount of wheelchair seating, it isn't a whole lot. Plan ahead to improve your chance of getting a seat!
Always remember to be safe and talk to your doctor about any concerns you might have when going to a venue. Planning ahead before you go may help relieve some stress and help you make the most of your experience. Going with friends and family is a great way to stay connected and create some happy memories.