suggestions for vacation with seniors with very limited mobility
Replies: 12 - Last Post: Apr 17, 2013 2:34 PM Last Post By: klmarchetti
Sep 2, 2010 4:36 PM
suggestions for vacation with seniors with very limited mobilityHave taken my parents on vacations within us via train, car and plane for the past 10 years. Dad is 84 and has alot of difficulty walking even short distances now. Refuses a wheelchair. Any suggestions for a house or vacation house on waterfront I think with alot of visually stimulating things surrounding home like a village or boardwalk on the Atlantic Coast? Considering all things now up and down east coast. We live in Philadelphia. Took them to Atlantic City and even Casino Resorts were too much walking for him.
Sep 2, 2010 5:32 PM
1At a certain point, you and he need to be realistic about travel expectations. If he can't walk and refuses to use a wheelchair, there is very little you can do other than carry him around in a palaquin chair.
I would not be trying to travel with someone who is that immobilized. Sometimes you just have to say no.
Sep 2, 2010 8:40 PM
Sep 3, 2010 5:32 AM
3Would a foliage tour work? That way the entertainment is from the car where he can sit. If you went to the White mountains there's a train to the top of Mt. Washington, or you could drive up. And there's hotels in towns like North Conway where you don't have to go far to eat or whatever. Just an idea.
If you really want ocean there are alot of towns in Maine that are right on the coast and sound like the type of place you're looking for. There are many but Kennybunkport is one that comes to mind. Although if a casino was too much I don't see these places being enjoyable in an of themself but maybe coastal drives from there would work.
Sep 3, 2010 7:38 AM
4If you look for vacation home rentals on VRBO you can find ones that are accessible. Unfortunately, you can't use that as a search criterion. But you can pick a location and see what turns up. I randomly looked at a place in Mystic, CT and got a waterfront home with an elevator and a place on the beach with accessible bathrooms and a large deck facing the water. In North Conway, I found a place with "a ramped entrance to an open living floor plan, queen bedroom suit with accessible bath and private deck where you can hear the nearby waterfalls from."
Besides the walking, I assume he can't stand for long periods of time, so you do want a bath with a place to sit in the shower & grab bars.
Are there communities in the Northeast where a lot of people get around by golf cart and you can rent one? That way the whole family rides.
Sep 3, 2010 7:51 AM
Sep 3, 2010 10:12 AM
6Our solution to this exact problem was to stay in a high-rise condo adjacent to the ocean with a sea-walk (like Kaanapali, Maui or Coronado, Calif). When we reached the point that walking even the 100 ft to the beach was too much, we rented a motorized scooter for the month. This turned out to be a fabulous solution. While refusing a wheelchair, our loved one took to the scooter like crazy. Almost total independence, but they only go about 10 miles an hour, so no major worries.
The condo-at-the-beach worked great because he could go all the way from the apartment, down the hall, down the elevator, out the garage, and along the sea-walk. Grocery store, restaurants, no problem. (However, they are too heavy to put in and out of the car)
Google "scooter rentals for seniors" and you will find reputable companies that provide this service, including drop-off and pick-up. This of course assumes a certain level of function for your dad to operate safely. Good luck.
Sep 3, 2010 12:55 PM
7Have you talked with a travel agent? Do your folks want to travel? Or would they really prefer to stay home? If you look around you can find tours specifically for those with mobility problems, but is this really what your parents want? If you just want a vacation rental with accessible rooms, etc., then a good vacation property service could help you. For just a place to stay, how about Cape May, NJ? Short drive, and with some nice, historic architecture. You could take the ferry to Lewes, Delaware and drive back to Philly via Annapolis. If your father would use a wheelchair, I'd even suggest a cruise (not that he couldn't do it with just a walker, but with today's big ships there can be a fair amountof walkng involved to get from cabin to dinng rooms, etc.). I think some cruise lines rent (or make available for rent) scooters, which some prefer over wheelchairs, for both practical and psychological reasons. In fact, would such a scooter (some can be folded up easily) be something your father would accept? Just read Jerry Lewis uses one to get around now.
Sep 3, 2010 1:41 PM
8I thought about, and rejected, the idea of a scooter, figuring that if Dad won't do a wheelchair, he won't do a scooter. But, on further reflection, I do wonder if that's the way to go. A scooter or a motorized wheelchair might be an easier sell, on the grounds that the purpose is not to help him get around (any dang fool can see I don't need any assistance with walking!), but rather to help him get around faster. And maybe let him be free of that darned cane. Or be able to carry packages.
Renting a scooter or a motorized chair at a vacation place might work as a trial run.
Sep 4, 2010 3:26 PM
9Yep, Liz's Dad can walk - but he still skipped the State Fair a few times (after going every year for 60+ years) because he would get tired before he even got out of the parking lot. But this year he rented a scooter and had a blast all day.
Hope Mom's not monitoring this - but she will get a scooter in Vegas next time if I have anything to do with it. Of course she can walk. But it's no fun shuffling around with her for 20 minutes just from the lobby to Starbucks. Or having to sit down every 20 yards and take a break. Let's get somewhere already! We see folks using scooters all over Vegas and I know they will deliver them to your room.
Sep 5, 2010 8:07 AM
10They can (often) drive their own scooter, so they're in charge. He may feel that with a wheelchair others need to push him (not always true, but could be psychological). And some people of a certain age may still remember polio epidemics, FDR, etc., and associate wheelchairs with weakness. A scooter is at least something new. And somewhat like a small golf cart.
Sep 8, 2010 10:30 AM
11Thank you to all who took the time to respond. Liked the Kennenbunkport idea very much and was already considering Maine but wasn't sure what the best place would be. Thanks again.
Apr 17, 2013 2:34 PM
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