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cmdg 10-26-2012 01:43 PM

Taking elderly relative to WDW
 
Not sure if this is the right board, but I have some reservations about our trip next summer.

My DS, DH and I will be at the WL and my Aunt, cousins, cousin's friends (he gets to bring 2 or 3) and grandma will be at Ft. Wilderness. They will have a golf cart.

My grandma is 86 and over the past year has been pretty seriously impacted from a stroke. She is still mobile, but very, very slow. She will need a wheelchair while there for sure.

I told my aunt (who is like my mother) that I was concerned about brining my grandma due to her health and her ability to really enjoy the experience, but my grandma is adamant that she wants to go and my aunt agrees.

Has anyone had any experience with older relatives at WDW?

sharadoc 10-26-2012 02:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cmdg (Post 46555166)
Not sure if this is the right board, but I have some reservations about our trip next summer.

My DS, DH and I will be at the WL and my Aunt, cousins, cousin's friends (he gets to bring 2 or 3) and grandma will be at Ft. Wilderness. They will have a golf cart.

My grandma is 86 and over the past year has been pretty seriously impacted from a stroke. She is still mobile, but very, very slow. She will need a wheelchair while there for sure.

I told my aunt (who is like my mother) that I was concerned about brining my grandma due to her health and her ability to really enjoy the experience, but my grandma is adamant that she wants to go and my aunt agrees.

Has anyone had any experience with older relatives at WDW?


My suggestion would be to rent a wheelchair from an outside company, if she is light, maybe a folding one. Or if she can walk at all, you can wait until you get to a park and rent one there.

The cabin and Fort Wilderness in general may be much more of a challenge for her than a regular resort would be. Has your aunt requested an accessible cabin? Otherwise, she would have to step into a regular bathtub/shower which is higher than a regular tub is, like it's on a raised platform. And walk up stairs to the cabin front door. Only 4 people can fit in a golf cart, unless they rented a larger one from an outside company. How will that work, or is it for the rest of the family to use at the campground only and you will use the buses for transportation to the bus depots/marina? If she's in a wheelchair, the bus is probably a better choice.

You may get lots more opinions if you post over on the DISabilities board.

DVC Kelly 10-26-2012 02:34 PM

I agree that renting a whellechair to use at the parks is a great idea. May I also suggest trying to plan part of the trip that caters to her or something that isn't so "high energy ". For instance maybe doing a dinner experience like the Hoop Dee Doo Revue/ Its an enjoyable few hours to watch a show and eat a good meal but not be so congested by people as you may encounter when travelling within the parks.

Lu Ann 10-26-2012 03:19 PM

We take my MIL nearly every year. She is going with us again for a week in December. She will be 87. A few years ago, we had to insist she use a wheelchair. She was worried that it would be too hard for us to push. I let her push me in it for a couple of feet, to prove to her that it is easy to push. Once she gave in, she thanked us, as she didn't end up in pain every night from so much walking. It's the walking that wears you out; in a wheelchair, she can last as long as we can. We also told her that she isn't bound to the wheelchair. Anytime she wants to get out, and walk through a store or something for a short while, all she has to do is say so.

hoosll 10-26-2012 06:10 PM

One of my favorite trip memories was an elderly couple in matching wheel chairs on the boat from WL. They were on their first trip with their family to celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary ... they married young back then ... and had never spent a night apart.

They were having the time of their life with ears and matching tees announcing their anniversary. They weren't there to ride the rides or even shop the shops ... they were enjoying the happiest place on earth ... it is beautiful and magical.

I hope somebody is loving enough to push me around the world when I reach my 80s and need a chair.

cmdg 10-26-2012 10:29 PM

Oh this makes me feel much better. She hates the humidity and has just been so slow getting around, when she does decide to go out, that I was worried she would have a bad time.

A accessible cabin is a good idea. My aunt wanted to do the cabins bc my grandma takes so long to do the little things like breakfast -- this way she can get up, they'll cook her breakfast and she can eat for the hour while everyone else is getting ready.

We'll have our 3 year old so early dinners will be key for us too!

Wood Nymph 10-27-2012 06:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hoosll (Post 46557344)
One of my favorite trip memories was an elderly couple in matching wheel chairs on the boat from WL. They were on their first trip with their family to celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary ... they married young back then ... and had never spent a night apart.

They were having the time of their life with ears and matching tees announcing their anniversary. They weren't there to ride the rides or even shop the shops ... they were enjoying the happiest place on earth ... it is beautiful and magical.

I hope somebody is loving enough to push me around the world when I reach my 80s and need a chair.

This is such a beautiful story. How I would love to be them someday.

disnut8 10-27-2012 02:05 PM

My father is at Disney World right now with my stepmother and her sister. He's 83 years old, has something kind of like Parkinson's (the University of Florida can't even diagnose this), can barely speak, and takes tons of time to do anything. His mind is sharp as a tack so it's not a good situation. He has his own wheelchair and my stepmother pushes him around.

He's having a great time.

Rent from an outside company so you have the chair or scooter 24/7, realize you might have to go slower than others and just enjoy the time with the people you love.

It sucks getting older but every one of us does it every single day.


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