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-   -   Transfer Chair (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3019861)

Bronte 11-10-2012 07:15 PM

Transfer Chair
 
We are taking our Great Aunt to Disney. She is 91 and can walk "ok" with a walker at home but for Disney we plan to use a wheelchair at the parks. Her wheelchair is not very reliable so the Senior Center we go to gave us a very nice transfer chair to use. They said it would be very safe and in fact easier for us to push. Her PT also said the transfer chair would be great for the parks because it is so light weight.

Will we have any problems using such a chair on any of the rides that allow wheelchairs or on the Disney buses (it will be safer for her to stay in her chair during all transports.)

Also, does anyone have any suggestions for the caretakers pushing ...
I have been practicing with the new chair and noticed that my hands and wrists get a bit sore even after just a mile or two.

disney david 11-10-2012 07:43 PM

You have to find out if the chair has transportation tie down points or the chair could be damaged on the bus or some rides that need to tie it down. I could be wrong most chairs do have it and then it won't be a problem on the buses.

SueM in MN 11-10-2012 09:08 PM

The main difference between a transport chair and a regular wheelchair is that a regular wheelchair has a set of small front wheels and a set of large back wheels. The large back wheels mean the person sitting in the chair would be able to propel the chair themselves.

Transport chairs have 4 small wheels and are usually light in weight and fold easily. This makes them easy to transport.

The buses and some rides use a similar tiedown system with hooks that are attached to a strong part of the chair frame and then fastened down tightly. Many manual wheelchairs do not have specific tiedown points attached/marked, but are still safe to tie down because they have strong frame parts that can be used.
I would suggest contacting the PT at the Senior Center since it is their chair. See if the PT can mark some places for you to use as tiedown spots (bright colored duct tape works well). It's very easy to tell the drivers that they can attach the hooks where ever they see the tape.
If the chair won't be safe for the bus, she can still ride in it to go up the lift or ramp and then transfer to the bus seat while someone in your party holds the folded chair.

She will be able to stay in the chair for all shows and in most wheelchair accessible ride cars without problem. There are only a few where the chair is tied down - Kilimanjaro Safari and Toy Story Mania (and the Backstage Tour at the Studio, which is currently not running) are the ones that come to mind.

For the hand and wrist issue, the PT might be able to help you out there too. It may be the height or angle of the push handles, which may be able to be adjusted. We have never used gloves, but some people find padded bicycle gloves are helpful.

Bete 11-11-2012 08:52 AM

A couple of more thoughts
 
I did all the pushing for my mom for about five years. She was in the same age category as your great aunt.

At Disney, I find it helpful to alternate activities to get a rest. Do a show then a ride, then do another show and then another ride. Do a parade or go to eat to get a rest. I was not in the best of shape myself and was heading for 60; so, I found doing it this way made it work. I was the only pusher. We didn't do long hours at the park, either. We averaged 6 to 8 hours a day.

We did some rides, but we stuck mostly to the rides where you can stay in the wheelchair. If you want to do thrill rides then please have someone stay with the aunt while the others enjoy the thrill ride. Do a swap if need be to allow everyone a chance to do a thrill ride. Do something else with the great aunt if she can't go on the ride.

The memories I had at Disney with my mom was precious. She passed away this year. I was happy to push the wheelchair.

Disney transportation is pretty handicap friendly. You board first on the back of the bus, but you are last in getting off. Your party up to 6 people are allowed to board with her.

Bronte 11-12-2012 04:54 PM

The senior center we go to is a place that helps seniors in our community and their families. It is mostly staffed by volunteers and their budget is largely made possible via donations. We go for exerciser class, lunch and bingo five days a week. This allows me some time to do other things and provides Aunt Petty with sooooooooooo much more (socialization, exercise, etc...)
I took the transfer chair over to our PT appointment today. The therapist said it was a great chair and we should have no problems. She showed me where to and more importantly where not to allow someone to "tie" down the chair. I was not sure if there are two or four tie downs on the buses but the therapist showed me both ways just in case. We talked about hand/wrist pain but unfortunately there is not an adjustment that can be made to the chair. Her suggestion was to take turns pushing. There will be DH (45) DD (17) DD (19) and myself (43) so we can all help I guess, I am a type "A" personality and it is hard sometimes for me to "let go." We have also be practicing having Aunt Petty push the wheel chair. I can not even imagine the pain/soreness caused by sitting for very long periods of time in a wheel chair, though she would never complain, plus I want to keep any leg swelling down to a minimum.
We are definitely not doing any thrill rides. Mostly just there for the shows, parades, lights, fireworks and the like. Our family goes as often as we can so this trip is all about her and getting to see her experience Disney for the first time. If the trip goes well we might even do more trips ...

Here is our line up ...

Thursday ~ Magic Kingdom
Friday ~ Hollywood Studios
Saturday ~ Epcot
Sunday ~ Magic Kingdom

Thanks everyone for your suggestions ... This is going to be a GREAT TRIP !!!!!

Bete ~ DD use to work at Raybestos in Crawfordsville, small world.

Bete 11-12-2012 05:57 PM

There are cushions
 
for the wheelchairs that do help with sitting in them all day. They do make the chair more comfortable.

Bronte 11-12-2012 07:30 PM

We do have a gel cushion and plan to bring/use it with the chair.

SueM in MN 11-12-2012 09:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bronte (Post 46692330)
The senior center we go to is a place that helps seniors in our community and their families. It is mostly staffed by volunteers and their budget is largely made possible via donations. We go for exerciser class, lunch and bingo five days a week. This allows me some time to do other things and provides Aunt Petty with sooooooooooo much more (socialization, exercise, etc...)
I took the transfer chair over to our PT appointment today. The therapist said it was a great chair and we should have no problems. She showed me where to and more importantly where not to allow someone to "tie" down the chair. I was not sure if there are two or four tie downs on the buses but the therapist showed me both ways just in case. We talked about hand/wrist pain but unfortunately there is not an adjustment that can be made to the chair. Her suggestion was to take turns pushing. There will be DH (45) DD (17) DD (19) and myself (43) so we can all help I guess, I am a type "A" personality and it is hard sometimes for me to "let go." We have also be practicing having Aunt Petty push the wheel chair. I can not even imagine the pain/soreness caused by sitting for very long periods of time in a wheel chair, though she would never complain, plus I want to keep any leg swelling down to a minimum.
We are definitely not doing any thrill rides. Mostly just there for the shows, parades, lights, fireworks and the like. Our family goes as often as we can so this trip is all about her and getting to see her experience Disney for the first time. If the trip goes well we might even do more trips ...

Here is our line up ...

Thursday ~ Magic Kingdom
Friday ~ Hollywood Studios
Saturday ~ Epcot
Sunday ~ Magic Kingdom

Thanks everyone for your suggestions ... This is going to be a GREAT TRIP !!!!!

Bete ~ DD use to work at Raybestos in Crawfordsville, small world.

The newest bus tiedown use 3 hooks - there are 2 in the back and one in the front.

The oldest ones and all the ride cars that use tiedowns have 4 hooks - 2 in the front and 2 in the back.
You will probably see mostly the 4 hook types.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bronte (Post 46693658)
We do have a gel cushion and plan to bring/use it with the chair.

That will help a lot.

tinka-belle 11-14-2012 04:05 PM

You can pick up a pair of bicycle gloves for less than $10 at a Walmart. A good way to keep blisters and sore spots away from the handgrips on the chair.

Since the wheels are small on a transport chair, it can be a bit rougher on uneven surfaces, such as the rutted village path in the new Fantasyland or the imagineered jungle walkways in the AK. It will be harder to push the chair and she might get jostled a bit on any rough surfaces.

Otherwise it's a good lightweight chair to take, and most also fold up so are easy to keep in your room out of the way. She might want to transfer to a regular seat once she's on the park buses and you can fold the chair and hold onto it like one would with a stroller. This avoids taking up a tie down spot and might be more comfortable for her. A chair cushion is a very good idea since she'll be sitting a good deal of the time and that's not as comfortable as it looks!

Bronte 11-17-2012 01:15 PM

Thanks again everyone for all the great suggestions ...

Only a few more days till we leave !!!!!! :cool1::cool1::cool1:

DH said that we can bring the gel cushion through security with no problems but I read that those gel shoe things are not allowed ...
Does anyone know for sure ??? The gel cushion we have was very expensive and I would hate to have a problem at the airport over it (DH gets pretty defensive when it comes to his Aunt and/or anyone with disabilities.)

SueM in MN 11-17-2012 01:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bronte (Post 46732005)
Thanks again everyone for all the great suggestions ...

Only a few more days till we leave !!!!!! :cool1::cool1::cool1:

DH said that we can bring the gel cushion through security with no problems but I read that those gel shoe things are not allowed ...
Does anyone know for sure ??? The gel cushion we have was very expensive and I would hate to have a problem at the airport over it (DH gets pretty defensive when it comes to his Aunt and/or anyone with disabilities.)

My DD's wheelchair has gel in both the seat cushion and the back. She has a custom wheelchair and both pieces are attached to her wheelchair. She can't stand, so is checked while sitting in her wheelchair.
The gel may get you a little more checking/scrutiny, but since it is a medical device, it would be allowed.

We have no choice because it is DD's seat, but if you are concerned, you could put it into your checked bags. It would not be an issue there.

Bronte 11-18-2012 08:52 AM

We were able to get our AKV room changed to BLT this morning ...
So worth the extra points so that we now do not have to change resorts !!!

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HAPPY !!!!!!

:cool1::cool1::cool1::cool1:

SueM in MN 11-18-2012 10:42 AM

:thumbsup2:thumbsup2
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bronte (Post 46736496)
We were able to get our AKV room changed to BLT this morning ...
So worth the extra points so that we now do not have to change resorts !!!

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HAPPY !!!!!!

:cool1::cool1::cool1::cool1:


Bronte 11-19-2012 05:58 PM

thank you SueM ...
Do you have any suggestions about the magic kingdom fireworks ...
We thought about sitting by the train station at the front of the park so no one could stand in front of Aunt Petty but will we be able to see the new castle show too or will we be too far away ???
thanks for any help ...

LisaBi 11-19-2012 06:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bronte
thank you SueM ...
Do you have any suggestions about the magic kingdom fireworks ...
We thought about sitting by the train station at the front of the park so no one could stand in front of Aunt Petty but will we be able to see the new castle show too or will we be too far away ???
thanks for any help ...

We watched the fireworks from up by the train station last year. We found one of those areas where it is like an island with plants and stuff and has a rail around it. I parked DS in front of the railing. The area was generally uncrowned, and post people tend to stand behind the railing. He could see the fireworks fine, but you can't see the details in the castle show from back that far.


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