- DR. MARION'S METHOD
- CAREGIVER TRAINING
Taking Grandma Out
Do you have any tips for when I take my grandma out that can make it a fool-proof outing?
Teresa in Washington, 38
If grandma is in a wheelchair, you have to make sure that where you’re going can accommodate a wheelchair. I’m talking about such places as a restaurant, a movie theater, or a museum. When a restaurant says it is wheelchair accessible, where is the entrance? Do they have a wheelchair parking spot? That’s vital if someone has a cane or a walker. My big pet peeve is when you have to go around the side or the back of an establishment and then enter through the kitchen or where the garbage is kept. That’s not dignified.
Some places have a wheelchair bathroom, but there’s no real way to get in and out of it comfortably. Some follow the law to make the opening three feet by three feet, but the design does not take into account the reality of bringing a wheelchair in and out of a space that tight.
Many times, handicapped elevators don’t work, leaving some elderly with nowhere to turn. Call ahead when possible to be sure the elevator is working. The bottom line is this: If it’s too difficult to get to an establishment, don’t bother going there. Many other places will have the common sense and dignity to provide easy access to your elder.
When grandma flies, be sure to order her a wheelchair. It’s a great way to make traveling easier on her. Most airports and airlines today are very prepared to meet the needs of the elderly, so you should always take advantage of these free services.
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