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View Full Version : Dilema re: Handicapped Room


Matt'sMom
01-14-2008, 01:42 PM
We currently have ressies for the begining of December, 2008 at Poly for our immediate family of three plus my parents. Unfortunately, my Dad just had a stroke last week, and is hospitalized. He has right side weakness and aphasia. We are looking at a lot of time in rehab for both speech and mobility issues.

Obviously, at this stage of the game, we have no idea what his recovery will be like. We are optomistic at this point that we will all still be able travel to WDW in c. 11 months (he has been so looking forward to visiting with his DGS!)... but have no way of gaging in advance just how mobile Dad will be at that time. I'm planning to--at the very least--have a folding wheelchair with us, so Dad does not wear himself out by trying to keep up with all of the walking. But we really don't know if he will be walking at all, or entirely wheelchair dependent. And more importantly, we don't know if he will need the roll in shower &/or grip bars at the resort--which would mean altering our current reservation and reserving that specific room category (if he does need them).

Anyone with experience that could give me some advice on how far in advance we need to make that decision (regarding changing the ressie to reflect Dad's resort room needs)? Do the 'wheelchair accessible' rooms at the Poly book up especially fast, or are we potentially ok to wait a month or two more... in order to better evaluate how things are progressing? Or would it be smart to just contact my TA and have her change the ressies now--then change it back if Dad's recovery ends up going well, and we find that we won't need the special accomidations at the resort after all? :confused:

Just a lot to try and figure out at this stage. Trying to help my Mom to cope with all that is going on, trying to be an advocate for Dad at the hospital (insuring he is comfortable, informed and getting the appropriate rehab when he is ready)... and still trying to keep up with our family's WDW trip arrangements. :hug:

spiceycat
01-14-2008, 01:55 PM
pretty sure you can wait until Sept, if not later, for a Dec trip.

Booyakasha
01-14-2008, 01:55 PM
I would change the reservation now. December can fill up fast. If your dad doesn't need the Handicap accesible room you can always change it back so someone else can use it.

If you are going to possibly be changing your reservations multiple times it has always been my experience that using a TA is actually more difficult in situations like this. If you deal directly with Disney you have control over your reservation and don't have to worry about getting hold of a TA to change it. It just takes a phone call to Disney.

B.

LSchrow
01-14-2008, 02:52 PM
i agree with the PP ~ book the HA room now, & try to change it later if you wish. it'll be harder to change to a HA room later (simply b/c there aren't as many), than visa-versa.
worse case scerio then would be that you wind up in a HA room, but not need it, better than needing one & being unable to get it :guilty: .

btw, even if your dad is much better (& best wishes to him for a speedy recovery!), long days at the parks, with alllllllll that walking & excitement might tire him ~ he may very well opt for a wheelchair after all.
hth :)

skipperkim
01-14-2008, 02:56 PM
Also to add, the resort has wheelchairs as well as the parks. But if you're flying he might need one at the airport too.

disnut8
01-15-2008, 08:35 AM
Book the handicapped accessible room now. I certainly hope you don't need it but if you do, you have it and it's one less thing to think about before your vacation.

Even if your father has progressed very well before the trip, you might want to keep that room just for the ease of things. Your father might need some TLC.

My thoughts are with you and your family. I hope things go well for you. Book the reservation and then turn your attentions to supporting your mother and everyone else who will need it. And don't forget to take some time for yourself as well.

Timon-n-Pumbaa Fan
01-15-2008, 09:01 AM
Book the HA room now! With the limited availablity of those rooms, especially at the Poly, you would be wise to go ahead and cover yourself.

Also, FYI, having a HA room no longer cuts you out of a potential pixie dust upgrade to the Hawaii building anymore. :teeth:

safetymom
01-15-2008, 09:05 AM
I agree book the handicapped room now.

Matt'sMom
01-15-2008, 10:00 AM
Interestingly, I have been receiving precisely the opposite advice on the Dis-Abilities boards from most of what has been said on this general resort board. Thanks to everyone for your thoughts, though! :flower3:

At this point in time, Dad is starting to show encouraging signs of recovery. So we are following the advice received on the Dis-Abilities board and waiting until we have his PT/OT evaluation before changing anything. I am already planning to bring a folding wheelchair for use in the parks, etc., regardless of his mobility issues at the time--we realize that stamina is going to be an issue, so will be bringing our own chair with us. I have learned that we can get numerous assistance devices such as a bath seat, etc. via housekeeping (as opposed to having to bring our own along from home) in order to make him more comfortable at the resort.

If the upcoming PT/OT evaluation projects that he may still be in need of a wheelcahir full time, use of the grab bars or roll in showers, I now have all of the info necessary to make the calls and have the appropriate room blocked off for us. But we are going to wait it out until the initial evaluations are completed within the next week or two. :thumbsup2

The good news is that Dad was out of bed yesterday, and more alert and responsive (answering simple "yes/no" questions, waving good-bye to visitors, etc.). His prospects for recovery are looking really good at this stage. I have seen the MRI and Cat Scan results--went over them with his Dr.--and it is all very encouraging. Aphasia (speech issues) may be our greatest challenge. But recovery of mobility is looking extremely promising (the damage was very localized).

Again, the PT/OT evaluation will provide us with better information on which to base the descision regarding potential ongoing needs in regards to our December vacation. And we'll promptly make any necessary calls & changes at that time.

ElizabethB
01-15-2008, 11:05 AM
Glad to know your dad is improving. You may want to consider getting him a scooter if his abilities are sufficient to handle it. It's very hard to push someone in a wheelchair around WDW -- it's often hard just to get oneself around the huge parks. We always rent my mom an ECV and it's great.

Obviously, the Dis-abilities board knows more than I do about booking handicapped rooms. I'd book one now, however. DH and I were assigned one once and actually liked it. There was a huge bathroom with roll in shower.