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Old 05-14-2013, 03:30 PM   #1
MrsJ Henry
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Question Question about GAC card for my husband

I have a question... Even though we have been to WDW several times this is the first time my husband will need to get a GAC card.
He has degenerative Disc disease so he has problems walking and standing for long periods of time (sometimes even short periods of time). He also had his colon removed and has an internal pouch. So when he needs to go to the bathroom he needs to go almost immediately.
He will not be using a wheelchair unless during the stay he feels he needs to use one.

We won't be going on any of the thrill rides obviously... nor anything that would bother his back.

How would this work with the GAC card? Has anyone had any similar issues? especially with "bathroom issues"?

He has documentation of all of his health issues. and his Disability papers if that is needed.
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Old 05-14-2013, 03:42 PM   #2
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If he has difficulty walking or standing, he will need to either rent a WC or ECV. Disney has no other provisions for stamina. He will be able to take it in most lines which is good, because there are very few attractions with places to sit....and some of them include a stretching room where everyone stands to wait to enter. Having an WC or ECV will give him a place to sit.

As far as the colon problem, he will have to make sure to make frequent restroom stops. It would be very difficult to try to leave a line and reenter it.

I suggest you read the FAQs at the top of this board. It contains a lot of verified information that may help you.
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Old 05-14-2013, 04:17 PM   #3
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We are going the week of November 17th so the crowds will be lower. I'm sure that will help . We are trying to plan everything out to make it as easy as possible for him. And so our daughter can have a fun time.
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Old 05-14-2013, 04:35 PM   #4
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Follow the link in my signature to the disABILITIES FAQs thread. Post 6 in that thread is all about Guest Assistance Cards and should be able to answer all your questions.

As was already mentioned, someone who is concerned about standing in line would be assisted more by using a mobility device. Most attractions do not have a place to dot while waiting.
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Old 05-14-2013, 04:59 PM   #5
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Thank You , this has helped! In fact there were some things on there that I didn't think of like having to stay out of the sun due to his medication side effects etc..... Very helpful.. lots of good info.
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Old 05-14-2013, 06:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsJ Henry View Post
Thank You , this has helped! In fact there were some things on there that I didn't think of like having to stay out of the sun due to his medication side effects etc..... Very helpful.. lots of good info.
I would suggest that your husband consider a rollator, which is a walker with wheels. My mom and I just had this discussion as she has degenerative disk disorder. We are talking about a trip later this year and she thinks the rollator will be exactly what she needs. She has trouble standing in one place, but sitting for too long is not good. This way she can sit when needed without worrying if there is a bench nearby.
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Old 05-14-2013, 07:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SueM in MN View Post
Follow the link in my signature to the disABILITIES FAQs thread. Post 6 in that thread is all about Guest Assistance Cards and should be able to answer all your questions.

As was already mentioned, someone who is concerned about standing in line would be assisted more by using a mobility device. Most attractions do not have a place to dot while waiting.
Hi sue, I'm glad I found this site because I need your help. Four years ago I took my mother to wdw at that time it was her first time with a scooter due to knee replacement surgery. At that time I had never heard of gac . Looking back now I don't even think it was necessary. She did fine with minimal assistance. We are going this year to celebrate my mom's 70th birthday she has just had recent back surgery and can't handle more than three stairs at a time and cannot be in lines unless there is something to hold onto on each side of her. Would this qualify her for a gac. I read on your thread that a doctor's note is not needed even though she could easily get one. I just want to make this trip as independent for her as possible even though this may be the last time she will be able to go on this type of vacation.
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Old 05-14-2013, 11:36 PM   #8
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Hi sue, I'm glad I found this site because I need your help. Four years ago I took my mother to wdw at that time it was her first time with a scooter due to knee replacement surgery. At that time I had never heard of gac . Looking back now I don't even think it was necessary. She did fine with minimal assistance. We are going this year to celebrate my mom's 70th birthday she has just had recent back surgery and can't handle more than three stairs at a time and cannot be in lines unless there is something to hold onto on each side of her. Would this qualify her for a gac. I read on your thread that a doctor's note is not needed even though she could easily get one. I just want to make this trip as independent for her as possible even though this may be the last time she will be able to go on this type of vacation.
Guests using a mobility device like a scooter or wheelchair don't need a GAC unless they have other needs that are not taken care of by using the wheelchair or ECV.
You might want to look at a scooter again - that would allow her to be more independent than a wheelchair would.
If you think she could and would do well with walking, you could try a rollator or her ( as a poster further up suggested). Rollators are walkers with wheels and a fold down seat. She would not need a GAC to use it in lines.

Using any type of mobility device, she would be routed to avoid stairs.

There is more information about rollators in a post on page 3 of the disABILITIES FAQs thread.
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:11 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by tobikaye View Post
I would suggest that your husband consider a rollator, which is a walker with wheels. My mom and I just had this discussion as she has degenerative disk disorder. We are talking about a trip later this year and she thinks the rollator will be exactly what she needs. She has trouble standing in one place, but sitting for too long is not good. This way she can sit when needed without worrying if there is a bench nearby.
Great suggestion! Thank you
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SueM in MN View Post
Guests using a mobility device like a scooter or wheelchair don't need a GAC unless they have other needs that are not taken care of by using the wheelchair or ECV.
You might want to look at a scooter again - that would allow her to be more independent than a wheelchair would.
If you think she could and would do well with walking, you could try a rollator or her ( as a poster further up suggested). Rollators are walkers with wheels and a fold down seat. She would not need a GAC to use it in lines.

Using any type of mobility device, she would be routed to avoid stairs.

There is more information about rollators in a post on page 3 of the disABILITIES FAQs thread.
Thanks for getting back to me. She is already booked for a scooter rental for that week. I think it would be better to not bother with a gac unless
We run into a problem somewhere then I could get it at some point during our trip. I saw the standing evc but she would not be able to stand for any length of time never mind she is not the greatest driver with the regular evc. Most bus drivers want them to back into the ramp on the bus and this is where we sometimes run into problems.
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:31 AM   #11
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Most buses now have a low threshold--you just drive onto the bus frontward! You skip that "extra" ride you used to get as you were elevated to get on the bus!
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Old 05-15-2013, 04:10 PM   #12
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The frequent need to alternate positions is pretty easy to tackle. Basically making your group selfsufficient for this is the best recipy. So a rollator or wheelchair so he can alternate into sitting where needed. It can also help navigate too long standing or walking in line. Waiting in line? Always enter the line with DD first, then him, then you. Teach DD that there needs to be a bit of extra space for dad between him and her and him and you. Make her part of a special "superhero pact" that helps dad. Makes it interesting and fun, but dad will benefit.

Leaving as little as 2 small steps of space in front of him and behind him will allow him the ability to walk, stand and sit in line whenever he needs to. Standing and walking isn't that difficult without keeping a bit extra space, but walking will be impossible if the line gets stuck and he feels like moving that moment. With as little as 2 steps both ways, he can walk and walk.


The bathroom; no gac for that. Best bet (anyway, for that alternating) is to use fastpass, touring strategies etc. It will greatly help you minimize wait times and thus risk of needing to leave line. If that does happen, flag down a CM working the line (if need be you flag down, while he continues to closest bathroom) and ask if anything can be done. Sometimes they can help, but depends on how busy, which rides etc.

In general; he will benefit greatly from knowing his bowelmovements as best as he can. So timing, but also the influence the food he eats can have (for instance knowing that a bagel in the morning will increase speed of production). The more he can read, the more he can prevent after all. Combine that with more frequent bathroom visits, esp. making that a norm straight before getting into any possible long wait. Bit of a pain, but quicker and less of a pain than even just fearing risks that are run.

Also talking to his treatment team can help. Temporary options can sometimes help to have a bit of a "break" of the norm for him. Options can range from plugs, thickening options, medications, using preventive flushing of the bowel (simply put emptying before going out, thus knowing no risk of problems for X-amount of time) etc. etc. I would seriously advice he not try any option while at WDW for the first time, but beforehand at home though. You never know how things work for your individual body and health until trying it. No biggie if it works great, but it not as hoped or expected it is nice to find out before the trip and perhaps try another option than being confronted with the problem while on vacation.
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Old 05-16-2013, 07:33 AM   #13
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Bring a cushion for rental wheelchairs if he has lower back problems. Unpadded seats can be painful with a bad back!

Also, for bathroom needs, my rule is never to wheel past a bathroom without going!
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Old 05-16-2013, 09:31 AM   #14
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Thanks so much!!! Lots of good information!!
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