Fun

Did you see the T-shirt with the blue, universal wheelchair symbol on the front? The words around it—“I’m in it for the parking.” At AMS Vans, we tip our hat to whoever came up with that one! For obvious reasons, the Fun section is one of the most popular in our AMS Vans blog. Clearly, people with disabilities have a sense of humor, and we encourage it. Humor helps lift your spirits, and it helps put other people at ease. Expect a less-than-successful sports experience, a clever cartoon, a laughable personal situation or just a laugh-out-loud story when you’re looking here for FUN!

Top 5+ Fantastic Lesser-Known Family-Friendly Movies to Stream During Spring and Summer 2020

Top 5+ Fantastic Lesser-Known Family-Friendly Movies to Stream During Spring and Summer 2020

When the temperatures begin to rise, some of us look forward to enjoying the great outdoors. However, staying at home is a great way to spend some quality time at home. While many new movies hit the big screen in summer, there are many great, lesser-known movies. Check out some of these lesser-known movies that are a real eye-opener.

1. Angus

With a stellar cast including Kathy Bates and George C. Scott, the title character of Angus (played by Charlie Talbert) follows the antics of a shy, obese teenager. He attempts to win the heart of his childhood crush Melissa (Ariana Richards), a popular cheerleader who is dating Rick (James Van der Beek) the quarterback of their High School football team. For fans of classic underdog tales, don’t miss this touching movie.

RATED PG-13 for mild language and sexual innuendo but worthy of some important lessons on bullying and teasing for teenagers

2. Big Hero 6

Even though it took home the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film of the Year in 2015, many have overlooked Big Hero 6. The anime-style cartoon follows a special bond that develops between an inflatable, health-minded robot named Baymax (voiced by Scott Adsit) and tech-prodigy Hiro (voiced by Ryan Potter). This unlikely duo teams up with a group of nerdy friends to form a band of high-tech heroes.

RATED PG for some mild violence mostly during chases scenes and run-ins with villains

3. The Iron Giant

While it flopped at the box office, The Iron Giant continues to support a growing fan base. It quickly became a must-see family favorite with critics and viewers alike. Here’s another tale about the unlikely friendship between a boy and his robot. However, in this case, the mechanical, metal man is an enormous alien. This is one of those tales that’s best left to be unraveled first-hand by viewers unless they’ve already read the book by the same name written by Ted Hughes back in 1968.

RATED PG for some mild violence and suspense

4. Simon Birch

There’s a big message coming from the small character of Simon Birch (Ian Michael Smith) though his heartwarming friendship with his best pal Joe (Joseph Mazzello). Born with a medical condition making Simon extra-small and fragile, Joe equips his bicycle with a special add-on accessory giving his little best friend greater mobility. Despite his much smaller stature, Simon is convinced he was put on earth for a greater purpose. Thus, their friendship is put to the ultimate test when the pair must deal with an unexpected tragedy.

RATED PG for some mild language and another flick with important lessons and an excellent message

5. Zathura: A Space Adventure

Practically everyone has seen Jumanji starring Robin Williams (or the newer version with Dwayne Johnson) playing a board game gone wrong bringing the terrors of a twisted fictionalized jungle to real-life scenarios. Zathura follows a similar plotline except in outer space. In the author’s book, the space movie plot thrusts a brother and sister (Josh Hutcherson and Kristen Stewart) into perilous parts of the galaxy. They are trapped inside their house while playing Zathura: A Space Adventure. Again, similar to the Jumanji experience, the siblings must work together to finish playing the game before getting destroyed by one unexpected adventure after another.

RATED PG for some mild violence and suspense

HOLIDAY BONUS: Rise of the Guardians

Although this lesser-known animated movie is set during Christmastime, the Rise of the Guardians showcases almost every major holiday with an associative protector known as guardians of their red-letter dates and traditions. Among the more notable voices, you’ll find characters include Chris Pine portraying Jack Frost, Alec Baldwin as North, Hugh Jackman appears as the Bunny from Down Under, along with Australian actress Isla Fisher playing the flighty Tooth Fairy, and Jude Law as the villainous Pitch.

RATED PG for some mild violence and suspense. This movie includes a newer, more unique viewpoint, and twists about the holidays and other popular traditions

10 Movies to Watch in 2020

10 Movies to Watch in 2020

Beat the heat this spring and watch movies inside with your friends and family. There are so many amazing movies coming out this year. We have put together a list of our favorite ones.

1. Trolls World Tour

Branch and Queen Poppy discover that other troll worlds exist. There are many clashes between the different tribes. A mysterious threat puts everyone in danger. Poppy and Branch must go on a mission to unite all of the tribes and save everyone from impending threat. Will they succeed?

2. SCOOB!

So many kids love Scooby-Doo. If you have been watching these guys for a while and are ready for a new story, you are in luck. Scooby-doo and his buddies are back. They are embarking on a totally new adventure. The whole family will love this movie.

3. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run

If you are a SpongeBob fan, this one is for you. This is the third movie in the series. SpongeBob meets the rest of the Bikini Bottom gang during summer camp!

4. Artemis Fowl

If you have ever read the Artemis Fowl books by Eoin Colfer, you will know how amazing his stories are. In this particular movie, an Irish criminal kidnaps the LEPrecon officer Holly Short. He needs to fund the rescue of his father somehow and has convinced himself that the ends justify the means. A transaction is made and then they go on a hunt to take down the evil pixie Opal Koboi. They also have to save Artemis Fowl Senior from the Arctic, as soon as possible.

5. Minions: The Rise of Gru

Gru is an evil mastermind, but how did he become so evil? If you are wondering why Gru became such a monster, this movie is for you. Everyone has a story. This is the story of Gru.

6. Soul

This is an inspiring animated film about where your dreams, your passions, your identity, and your goals originate. It takes place partly in New York City and partly in several cosmic realms. It is directed by Pete Doctor, who has won two Oscars to date.

7. Free Guy

bank teller goes to work and fulfills his duties, day in and day out. At first, he seems like he is just an average guy living a run-of-the-mill life. This is not the case however. Life is fairly mundane until he discovers that he is actually part of a video game. When chaos ensues, the world rests on his shoulders. He must save the world from impending doom.

8. Jungle Cruise

This movie is actually based off of one of Disneyland’s famous theme park rides. A group of folks is on a small riverboat floating down a river through a jungle filled with dangerous wildlife. This story documents an incredible, and often very dangerous, adventure.

9. Morbius: The Living Vampire

This is the third chapter in Sony’s Marvel Universe. It is based on Spider-Man characters who coexist with Sable, Black Cat, and Silver Sable. If you are a marvel fan, this movie is definitely for you. You will not want to miss it. It is a great movie to watch with your family.

10. West Side Story

If you have a soft spot for musicals, then this movie is definitely for you. It is a remake of the 1961 film which was about two members from rivaling gangs living in New York City. These two rivals fall in love.

Find More Movies to Watch in 2020

We hope you enjoy these phenomenal films. They are all family-friendly. Whether you are looking for adventure, magic, villains, or romance, we have got you covered.

Top 10 New Year Resolutions for Disabled Persons

celebrating the new year by making new year resolutions

Happy family celebrating with sparklers on New Year’s Eve.

One of the ways disabled persons achieve the greatest happiness in life is by living as normally as possible despite the disadvantages they may face. They will often do whatever it takes to do perform the same functions and even achieve similar goals as those who are not limited in their abilities. In this light, from this recent list of Top 10 New Year Resolutions for Success and Happiness, the most popular propositions are just as easily accomplished by anyone regardless of the challenges they may have in life.

  1. Diet or eat healthy (71%)
  2. Exercise more (65%)
  3. Lose weight (54%)
  4. Save more and spend less (32%)
  5. Learn a new skill or hobby (26%)
  6. Quit Smoking (21%)
  7. Read more (17%)
  8. Find another or different job (16%)
  9. Drink less alcohol (15%)
  10. Spend more time with family and friends (13%)

For the first three new year resolutions, be sure to consult with your physician before starting any type of diet or exercise regime depending upon your unique conditions or circumstances. Together you’ll put together a program that will work best for you.

Saving Money and Spending Less

One of the easiest ways to save money is to sign up for an automatic withdrawal from your primary banking account for deposit into savings, retirement or another type of account. This way you’re saving money without even thinking about it and it happens regularly.

If you don’t already have one in place, set up a budget and stick to it to spend less money in the New Year. There are plenty of online options available to create one of these worksheets. Providers like NerdWallet suggest using the 50/30/20 rule where:

  • 50% of income goes towards necessities
  • 30% of earnings are meant for wants
  • 20% of income goes into savings and debt reduction

Reduce your budget and spend less by trimming from the 30% category and limit items you want by sticking with more necessities.

Learn a New Skill or Hobby

Here the possibilities are practically endless and could include anything from reading more as suggested in the roster above to taking on a new crafting project or learning to play a musical instrument. But don’t limit your choices to sedentary activities as suggested in this list of hobbies as suggested in this roster from Very Well Health.

Quitting Smoking and Drinking Less Alcohol

Often these two unhealthy habits go hand in hand. Thus, quitting might make both tasks easier when combined for new year resolutions. As everyone who has attempted or successfully stopped drinking or smoking knows, making this transition is difficult at best.

Be sure to reach out for assistance and use resources available to help conquer these addictions. This is another avenue where your physician should be able to help you with medications to make quitting easier and therefore more successful in the long run.

Finding a New or Different Job

Sign up for automatic job postings that arrive in your email inbox at sites like Indeed to find a new or different source of employment. At this particular website, users have the ability to perform refined searches for job opportunities available in their area according to different parameters that meet your experience and skills. Upload your resume and you could have potential employers searching for you instead.

With a rise in the trend of more people telecommuting, working from home is becoming more popular than ever. Stay at home jobs are also available from many of these providers and your new line of employment could find you working in your pajamas from the comfort of your domicile.

Reading More

If you’ve signed up to receive regular job updates, you’ve filled two needs with one deed when perusing these posts. With the world-wide-web available at nearly everyone’s fingertips, finding more content to read is easier than ever before. Perform a search online for “free novels to read now” and you’ll find a plethora of platforms offering these books at no charge. What an easy way to complete new year resolutions.

Spending More Time With Friends and Family

If mobility is an issue when it comes to transportation to see more of your family and friends, please check out our inventory of new and used handicapped and wheelchair accessible vans for sale. There are hundreds of vehicles available for purchase and come in a variety of makes and models.

Find More New Year Resolutions

From everyone here at AMS, here’s wishing you and yours the happiest and most prosperous New Year.

Giving Thanks Series: Caregivers Need Care, Too

caregiver helping her client

Many people with disabilities rely on the help of dedicated caregivers to lead an active and healthy life. Being a caregiver is rewarding, but the hours can be long and draining. That’s why, as part of our Giving Thanks series, we wanted to dedicate this post to caregivers. Also, we wanted to provide them with some helpful resources. With all that caregivers do for their clients, we wanted to take the opportunity to thank them and encourage them to take care of themselves, too!

There are some basic self-care strategies that caregivers can use to prevent burnout and stress. Further, there are also organizations dedicated to supporting caregivers.

Self-Care for Caregivers

For caregivers, it can sometimes feel like there’s no time for their own self-care, or that they shouldn’t take time away from their client or loved one to attend to their own needs. Instead, taking some time for self-care can help caregivers do a better job of caring for others. Ignoring your own needs can lead to burnout and chronic stress.

Having trouble thinking of ways you can take care of yourself as a caregiver? Here are some tips to get started:

  • Get enough rest. You need good quality sleep to keep up with your daily responsibilities.
  • Stay hydrated and nourished with quality food. Carry a big water bottle to make sure you’re hydrating during the day, and pack a healthy lunch when you can. Try not to skip breakfast.
  • Try meditation and coping mechanisms for stress. You could try a morning meditation practice before your day begins. Alternatively, you could learn some short mantras that you can repeat in stressful moments. For example, “Let it go” or “This will pass” could work.
  • Find a hobby and do something you enjoy on a regular basis. Making time for your own interests can help you avoid caregiver burnout.
  • Ask for help. You can’t do it all alone, whether you need someone to fill in for you so you can get a break, or you just need a supportive friend to listen–it’s not easy to ask for help, but it’s worth it.

Resources for Caregivers

When you need more than basic self-care, there are organizations that are there to help. These groups can provide valuable advice and support, facilitate connections with other caregivers, and help caregivers stay up-to-date on new policies and resources. Thus, here are some of the organizations that caregivers can reach out to for assistance:

National Center on Caregiving: This group can help you with policy issues, caregiver education, and information about the latest research.

Caregiver Action Network: CAN fosters community among caregivers and provides resources tailored to caring for specific types of patients.

National Family Caregiver Support Program: This federal program provides caregivers with access to services, training, and respite care.

Support for ALS Caregivers: The ALS Association provides connections to respite care, an online calendar to help families coordinate care, and educational information specific to ALS caregivers.

National Organization for Rare Disorders Caregiver Resource Center: Caring for someone with a rare disease can feel isolating. Thus, NORD provides resources including educational videos and webinars, connections to resources for specific conditions, and financial support.

Well Spouse Association: This organization supports spousal caregivers by facilitating in-person and online support groups, providing connections to respite care, and hosting conferences and special events.

Taking Care of Yourself

It’s natural for caregivers to feel hesitant or guilty about asking for help. However, we want you to know that taking care of yourself makes you a more effective caregiver. We hope that you find the resources you need to support your own health, happiness, and motivation. Thank you for all that you do! Contact us to learn more.