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-   -   Best Resort for 76 year old with advanced Parkinson's and other issues. (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3181705)

Sheilby 10-04-2013 08:26 PM

Best Resort for 76 year old with advanced Parkinson's and other issues.
 
I'm *considering* taking my mother to Disney next November or December. If we did we would be a party of 6 - dh, ds14, ds10, ds7, my mom and me. We would have to do two rooms, a 2 bedroom villa, the cabins at Fort Wilderness or one of the suites that sleep 6 in some resorts I guess.

My mother has a few issues. Her Parkinson's is pretty advanced and she has major stability and stamina issues. Around her tiny apartment and at my place she uses a walker, but if I take her to the store she uses the store's EVC. She also has two fake knees, plus an old ankle fracture with pins where the bones are now deteriorating in addition to two torn rotator cuffs. She gets tired really easily from the meds. Needless to say she won't spend all day in any of the parks.

I'm not even sure if I should be entertaining the thought of taking her, but I know she feels bad that we are going this November with my very young and healthy in-laws. She took me to Disney once as a kid and we stayed at the Poly. Only MK and EP were open back then and she loved IASW and BTMR. I know she wouldn't be able to go on many rides, but I know she would love to see the magic and more importantly she would love to see her grandson's enjoying it.

Obviously if we went, I would have to be prepared to run back and forth from the parks to take her back to the resort when she needed to go. She moves very slow so I'm assuming rope drop won't work for her and she would need to take a break in the afternoon, she might not even be able to go back to the park later. Since we are going this year I think we will all be fine with taking things slower at the parks. She would need a nice resort that she could relax at and enjoy. Obviously we would rent an EVC for her mobility issues.

Is it worth taking her there or should we look into another destination considering her needs? I really would like to take her somewhere because she is quite depressed about the direction her life has taken.

If we go, where would you stay considering her limitations? Is WL out because of the boats to MK (do they allow EVC's on the boats, I heard something about water levels affecting it)? There is a club level suite there that sleeps 6 that although expensive, would give her a place to roll to and have a glass of wine in the late afternoon if we weren't around. Obviously the villas have a lot of space, but I'm afraid she might feel isolated at a place like OKW if she is alone at times. She loves to people watch, and she has to have her glass of wine every afternoon.

Is she going to be able to ride anything? She is not looking for high thrills, I was even surprised as a kid that she liked BTMR although she still refers to it as the runaway train, but I would like her to experience some things.

I'm assuming renting a car to speed up getting her around wouldn't work well with the EVC?

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

sweetnjmom 10-04-2013 08:43 PM

Hi Sheilby,

I just wanted to say I empathize with your dilemma. My mom (71) has advanced Parkinson's and due to the progression of the disease, she had a permanent feeding tube, incontinence issues and can barely speak. My DH and I are going this November with our 4-year-old, but had once intended my parents to join us. Unfortunately that cannot happen due to her health.

IMO, I would do my best to have her come with you for your next trip (presuming her health doesn't further deteriorate). And I think the best resort would likely be the Contempory. I don't remember all the room categories there, but maybe even the BLT section? It would be the easiet to go to/from MK and EPCOT when she tires with the monorail as transportation.

Wishing you all the best planning this. I hope your mom is able to join your family on your next trip.

MEK 10-04-2013 09:26 PM

My dad recently passed away from advanced Parkinson's. He was in his 80's and was totally home bound. I know how difficult it is to deal with the disease and I've seen first hand how strength and stamina fluctuate from day to day and week to week.

I applaud you for wanting to plan a trip that includes your mom. My recommendation would be Bay Lake Tower or the Contemporary. You could stay in a 2BR villa at BLT. You can walk (and your mom ride) to the MK. It's the only resort with a walking path. It would be easy for your mom to go back and forth for rest periods.

I'm not sure if you mentioned anything about time of year, but I would definitely take the weather into consideration as well.

Good luck with your planning. I'm sure this trip will mean a lot to her.

txnana 10-04-2013 09:29 PM

I agree you should take her if her health allows. I travel at WDW with a scooter and enjoy just seeing the beautiful grounds. WDW makes riding a lot of rides very easy for those in wheel chairs and ecv. I would not let her miss seeing the joy in a grandchild's face when meeting the mouse or princesses for the first time!! I will be going with my daughter, her husband and my three grandsons next Christmas (along with my best friend). The pleasure of just sharing as much of that joy as you can with your mom will be worth all the effort.

ArwenMarie 10-04-2013 09:50 PM

I agree, the 2br villa at BLT would be a great option. You can sleep three in the living room, so maybe put your kids there, and then she can have her own bedroom and bathroom, as well as you and your husband. And the path is so lovely to get to MK, and easy to get back, so you can go back and forth as you need to relatively easily. I think she would be ok with hanging out there alone...it's a nice big suite, lots of balcony space, and it doesn't feel isolated at all. The lake side of the building is very pretty in the day and of course the theme park side is cool at night.

Happy planning, I hope it all comes together for you all :)

Sheilby 10-04-2013 10:06 PM

Thank you all for your replies. I appreciate the input. I will definitely research the Contempo/BLT. MEK, very sorry for your loss and sweetnjmom, sorry you are going through all that.

gogo 10-04-2013 10:07 PM

Hello,

I really don't have any specific recommendations as far as resorts because I think they all have some pros and cons. Although, I really like the Epcot Resorts especially Boardwalk Inn. I think it is such a nice walk to Epcot and around the lake to the other resorts (Yacht and Beach Club). Hopefully, your mother could use the scooter in that area it is so pretty. And, it never felt overly crowded although I guess it depends on the time of year you go.

If she likes to people watch, I think the area is great for that. I was touched by your post and hope it materializes for you. Disney can be so stressful with the crowds, heat, etc. but if you go taking a more leisurely pace, it sounds like it would be a wonderful trip.

Sheilby 10-04-2013 11:10 PM

We can definitely go on the less crowded weeks, we home school so we don't have to contend with any outside schedules. I was thinking either mid November or the first week of December. I know she would love the Christmas decorations and I'm a much nicer person to be around when I'm not hot ;) I was wondering about the Epcot resorts, but I wasn't sure about the transportation down there with an EVC.

conandrob240 10-04-2013 11:41 PM

I am sorry for what many of you are facing with your parent. That must be very hard:(. I would say take her and adjust the trip around her. Make sure the kids know this is Grandma's trip and that may mean more time at the pool, more time just visiting hotels to look at Christmas decorations and so on. If she is still mobile enough and wants to go, just do it. You won't get another chance.

You might also consider a more relaxing vacation like a cruise or a Carribean All - inclusive resort where she won't feel like she has to miss out on anything.

Gary M 10-04-2013 11:51 PM

You might consider the WL. There is a bus from WL to MK besides the boats. There are two types of boats that go to the MK. One boat is smaller and will not take a EVC. The larger boat, I believe, can accommodate the EVC if the water levels are OK, if not, as I mentioned, you can take the bus.

Each room at the WL has balconies or the ground floor has patios. She would probably enjoy a courtyard view room with the view of Bay Lake, the swimming pool and courtyard. The lobby is also a nice place to relax and enjoy people watching. The WL is under one roof.

Sheilby 10-04-2013 11:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by conandrob240 (Post 49745734)

You might also consider a more relaxing vacation like a cruise or a Carribean All - inclusive resort where she won't feel like she has to miss out on anything.

I was thinking about an all inclusive in the Caribbean (she would never do a cruise), but Beaches in Turks and Caicos was going to run 13,000 for the 6 of us before we even factored in airfare (and that was with 60% off). Hubby won't stay in certain countries either - no Jamaica or Dominican Republic etc. - so that limits our choices.

Do you know of any good all inclusives that cost less than Beaches?

Sheilby 10-05-2013 12:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gary M (Post 49745781)
You might consider the WL. There is a bus from WL to MK besides the boats. There are two types of boats that go to the MK. One boat is smaller and will not take a EVC. The larger boat, I believe, can accommodate the EVC if the water levels are OK, if not, as I mentioned, you can take the bus.

Each room at the WL has balconies or the ground floor has patios. She would probably enjoy a courtyard view room with the view of Bay Lake, the swimming pool and courtyard. The lobby is also a nice place to relax and enjoy people watching. The WL is under one roof.

I know I would love WL, but I wasn't sure how it would be running back and forth from the parks to pick her up/drop her off on the buses. I do like the idea of a central lobby for her though, especially when I saw the pictures of it at Christmas.

CynJ 10-05-2013 12:25 AM

My mom has COPD, two really bad knees, and a chronic fatigue problem. We're going November 2014 with my two aunts, one of which also has mobility issues. We're renting them both scooters and we're planning on doing a few hours at a park then back to the resort for a nap before heading back to a park for dinner and the night shows (Illuminations, Wishes, Fantasmic). We're also planning two "rest" days in our 7 day trip. These are days where we do nothing but hang out at the resort and chill before we go to dinner at another resort (Boma & HoopDeeDoo). lol I have already informed them both that I fully intend to be the "bad cop" when it comes to enforcing our rest periods because I know that my mom has such limited endurance. I don't need her getting too fatigued and possibly sick by day two.

We picked the Art of Animation for a couple of reasons: 1) it gives us plenty of room in the suit for all four adults and two scooters; 2) it has a zero entry pool; and 3) the food court is outstanding from all accounts we've heard. But I think that's going to be way too small for your needs.

I think you might be surprised at the amount of things your mother can actually do. There are a lot of slow, gentle attractions that shouldn't be too jarring for her (Spaceship Earth, Carousel of Progress, Ellen's World of Energy, etc), especially thinking of the things that don't require her to get off of her scooter (Tiki Room, Country Bears, etc). Our group is in the middle of discussing the different attractions that we all want to see and the not having to get off and on the scooter thing (which really wears my mother out) rates an attraction very high on our list. Epcot's World Showcase in particular, with all it's "street" performances, could be a lot of fun for your mom without overtaxing her. Same thing with all the shows and parades- lots of magic there without expending a lot of physical energy to enjoy.

One thing I would suggest (and I'm doing it for both my mom and aunt) is getting a medical alert bracelet/necklace that has their name along with yours and a cell phone number to reach you while at WDW. That way if something should happen while she was at the resort by herself, castmembers/EMTs will have a direct way to contact you. Both my mom and aunt already have cell phones which they will be bringing, if your mom doesn't have one, you might pick her up a simple disposable one that you can program your numbers into so that she can get a hold of you if she's by herself.

I hope you're able to go and take her and that you all have a wonderful time.

spiceycat 10-05-2013 02:14 PM

now love BLT - own there and it is my favorite.

that say has your family gone already - what was their favorite park - if Studios (DHS) or Epcot - might go for a Epcot resort - BCV and BWV both have 2 bedrooms - that say BWV has no 2 bedroom with 2 queen beds and BCV has limited number - 25 that do.

mostly they will have a king bed in master (all dvc resort 1 &up do) and in the second bedroom - queen bed and double sleeper sofa.

the living room only has a queen sleeper sofa. the chair bed is only at AKV, BLT and OKW.

now if your favorite parks are the MK and Epcot - then BLT was made for you.

all have activities - so the kids will have something even when not in the parks.

disnut8 10-05-2013 05:14 PM

I don't have recommendations for a specific resort but I wanted to say you should take your mother to Disney World. Why? Because there will be so many other wheelchair people there, she's not going to feel odd. Plus, let her know now that she's not interrupting your plans when you take her back to the room. Change things around by being excited about spending time with her. You will have three of her grandkids with you and I would suggest each of them "volunteer" to accompany you. I'd also suggest your husband "volunteer" your role at least once. You are all family and that's more important than Disney World.

My father was diagnosed with Parkinson's about three years ago. But, it's been recently discovered it's not Parkinson's but MSA. He's 84 years old and has grown to understand he will never be cured. We don't talk about that -we just help him live every day the way he wants to. We've gone to Disney World with him and if we have to slow down, that's fine. Just means he's still with us for another day. And I'll remember him eating a Mickey bar in Epcot long after I remember how it feels to drop at Twilight Zone.


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