Here in Queensland the beginning of summer is kicking off and our days are going to get hotter than ever! While everyone does their best to keep cool and hydrated, for those caring for a loved one with high-needs it can be even harder to make it through these warmer day. Extreme heat impacts people with disabilities for a number of reasons including physiological i.e. people with
multiple sclerosis have been shown to experience greater pain and fatigue on hot days, and some people with spinal cord injuries don’t have the ability to sweat as a means of cooling down.
To help you keep cool for summer we’ve put together a few simple things you can do to keep everyone cool including a quick guide to Brisbane’s best accessible beaches.
Stock up on the Summer essentials
Having a bag full of summer essentials can really help when you’re out and about. Some of our favourite things to include is sunscreen, a spare hat, a portable fan and water mister, and our favourite summer hack, Kool ‘n’ Soothe gel strips and ice packs!
These strips and ice packs require no refrigeration meaning you can just throw them in your bag and when you’re ready to use they stay cool for up to eight hours. Make sure to also freeze a few water bottles so that if you’re out for a long period of time they’ll slowly defrost and you’ll always have cold water available.
Head to the beach for a swim
Heading to the beach is one of the best things about summer, and thankfully this favourite Aussie pastime is becoming more and more accessible for everyone.
Volunteering Gold Coast have recently partnered with Surf Clubs across the Gold Coast to create accessible beaches for everybody, by providing beach wheelchairs, accessible beach AccessMats, a mobile hoist and a team of volunteers to implement the project.
The AccessMats, beach wheelchairs, and mobile hoist is available at the Surfers Paradise SLSC every Sunday from 8:30am – 3:30pm, and at the Neptune RLSC (Tallebudgera Creek) every Saturday from 8:30am – 3:30pm. All you need to do is book online here.
A little further north, the Moreton Bay Council and the Bribie Island Surf Lifesaving Club are currently trialling a Accessible Beaches initiative at Woorim Beach. A 30 metre beach matting has been installed at the main beach entrance just north of the Bribie Island Surf Lifesaving Club, and there are now two beach wheelchairs are available for free hire on weekends and public holidays.
Check out one of Brisbane’s free water parks
Can’t make it to the beach but still want to cool down with a splash? Brisbane has a number of great water parks that feature different water-play elements on including tipping buckets, shooting fountains and outdoor showers. Some of our favourite accessible water parks include:
- South Bank Parklands Aquativity area featuring fountains, water features and tipping buckets
- Ferny Grove Aqua Park which features arch sprays, stream jets, bubblers, misting ground sprayers, and an interactive water table that provides wheelchair access
- Wynnum Whale Park which features water spraying whale pods that all kids will LOVE!
- Flagstone Water Play Park featuring tree-shaped waterfalls, and a ‘zero depth’ water course with jets, blasters and bubblers.
Invest in an umbrella for your wheelchair
And our last handy tip to keep you cool – an attachable umbrella for your wheelchair! Perfect for when you are heading outdoors or to the beach for the day and need to ensure you have shade to keep cool. The umbrella holder even allows you to adjust the height and position of the umbrella so that you can suit it to your specific needs.