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Old 10-06-2013, 06:28 PM   #16
Sheilby
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Originally Posted by CynJ View Post
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.
Great idea about the medical alert bracelet and the cell phone. Like you said, I don't think AoA would work for us because of the kids - just a little too tight for the 6 of us.

My biggest concern for her riding rides is because she doesn't so much walk as she shuffles, I'm not sure she could move fast enough to get on one of the rides with moving entrances and I'm not sure that she would be able to step up/down enough to get in/out of the boat rides like IASW or the Grand Fiesta Tour.
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Old 10-06-2013, 06:45 PM   #17
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The Beaches chain has a less amenity-full set of resorts called Grand Pineapple. They have a great resort in Antigua that should price about 1/2 of Beaches T&C. And your husband should do some more homework before he rules out an entire country, especially Jamaica where there are a wide array of great family resorts ( and no water issues like in the DR)
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Old 10-06-2013, 06:47 PM   #18
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And the more I think about the WDW trip, I say no. Your mom will be faced daily with things she cannot do or see, rides she can't get on. Talk about a blow to the psyche. Think about an AI vacation where she can be with you, watch the kids enjoy themselves yet not be faced 10x a day with things she can't do.
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Old 10-06-2013, 06:58 PM   #19
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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.
They went for the first and only time 3 years ago and their favorites were definitely Epcot and MK. The two little ones love ToT but we are fine with only going one day to HS. Thanks for the information about how the two bedrooms are set up in BWV and BCV and the others. I don't get having a queen and a sleeper sofa in the the 2nd bedroom of a two bedroom villa. Since there is already a sitting area in the living room why wouldn't they put two beds in the 2nd bedroom? Seems a lot more useful.
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Old 10-06-2013, 07:10 PM   #20
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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.
Sorry about your dad, I had never even heard of MSA before.

The only reason we would even think about taking her next year is because we are going this year and we will be able to get in all our must dos so that we won't feel like we are missing out when we have to take things slower with her. My husband and the boys are great with her so they are fine with all getting a turn to accompany her back to the resort and none of us will have a problem slowing down to make it easy for her. However, when she needs to go back to the resort she will be doing so to sleep for a few hours so I doubt I would have any of us stay there just waiting for her to wake up.

My biggest fear is that she won't be able to do enough and it will just depress her more.
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Old 10-06-2013, 07:17 PM   #21
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The Beaches chain has a less amenity-full set of resorts called Grand Pineapple. They have a great resort in Antigua that should price about 1/2 of Beaches T&C. And your husband should do some more homework before he rules out an entire country, especially Jamaica where there are a wide array of great family resorts ( and no water issues like in the DR)
His issue with places like Jamaica has to do with fear of having his 3 blond haired blue eyed boys kidnapped off the beach - I kid you not. There is no talking him out of it about certain places. He doesn't have a lot of "issues" normally so I figure there is no use arguing about it, if he doesn't want to go, we can find other places. I'll definitely look into the Grand Pineapple though, thanks for the tip.

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And the more I think about the WDW trip, I say no. Your mom will be faced daily with things she cannot do or see, rides she can't get on. Talk about a blow to the psyche. Think about an AI vacation where she can be with you, watch the kids enjoy themselves yet not be faced 10x a day with things she can't do.
That is my biggest concern. I will definitely have to think things through. I just don't know how handicapped friendly some of the AI resorts are though.
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Old 10-06-2013, 07:52 PM   #22
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This thread is very personal to me~ I say take your mom to Disney World!!!

What a perfect place to travel to that is not only one of the most handicapped friendly places to vacation, but one where many magical memories can be made.

There are so many things to experience besides rides, etc. Just the resorts alone are a wonderful getaway. Many of the restaurants are experiences in themselves, many fun attractions and shows she would be able to enjoy, and parades and fireworks. Most of all, a special time away with your family to be together, have fun and make memories of just being together! With photopass, you have built in photographers!

I can't answer where the best place to stay would be~ we've stayed at most of the resorts. All are handicap friendly and accessible, you will just need to research which will have the easiest access back and forth to where you want to go. I would not only go with which resort is most accessible, but with one that speaks to your family's hearts, especially if you'll be spending some down time. That's just as much a part of vacation as the parks you'll be spending time in.

Keep in mind, your mom may tire more easily away and out of her routine. Be aware she may even feel overwhelmed and make adjustments for that.
I say go, spend a little more than you would like to if you have to, the effort is worth it, no matter how hard. Make the memories that you will treasure and cherish forever! Don't put off what's in your heart, because you'll never know what tomorrow brings.

My mom developed Parkinson's Disease later on in life~ she brought me to WDW when I was 7 after my dad passed away. It was the most healing time for us as we laughed and giggled and were wowed by the magic of Disney. She always talked about going back. I tried and tried when her Parkinson's was more advanced, to plan a trip to take her, but unfortunately a medical obstacle continued to get in the way of our actually going each time. She always talked about Wishes, and we would watch it on Youtube. We would always make a wish together, and it would always be to go see it for real together... She advanced too quickly, and the trip never did happen. I never see Wishes at WDW without her there in my heart with me.

It's not always possible, but now in life, I try to make my "someday to do list" my "to do list today"...
Best wishes with planning whatever it is that will work for your family to make some awesome memories!
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Old 10-06-2013, 08:17 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Sheilby View Post
Great idea about the medical alert bracelet and the cell phone. Like you said, I don't think AoA would work for us because of the kids - just a little too tight for the 6 of us.

My biggest concern for her riding rides is because she doesn't so much walk as she shuffles, I'm not sure she could move fast enough to get on one of the rides with moving entrances and I'm not sure that she would be able to step up/down enough to get in/out of the boat rides like IASW or the Grand Fiesta Tour.
Sounds like a lovely trip you all will have! They do stop some of those rides that have the moving belt for someone with mobility troubles. I have also seen a wheelchair boat on the ride in Mexico(donald one). There are lots of shows she could do just fine also. I hope she stays strong and you can all go next year.
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Old 10-06-2013, 08:46 PM   #24
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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.
Thank you Sheiby. That is very kind of you!
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Old 10-06-2013, 08:57 PM   #25
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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?
Hi! I wanted to pop in here and offer a suggestion. (My parents are 82 and 83 with various replaced parts and healed up broken bones )

When you are considering vacation spots, keep in mind our elderly parents can need medical care in the most inopportune times, and quite frankly, I would not care to take my parents to an island. If one of them fell, I would want them in the states where great medical care was available. Just a thought.

I'm taking both of my parents to WDW on October 20th. I, too, have concerns and intend to enforce 'rest time'. I'll be the Naptime Nazi!
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Old 10-07-2013, 11:58 AM   #26
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We took my elderly in laws to the WL. My father in law cannot walk long distances and really did not want to ecv it.
That said, they really had a nice time at the resort. The found it pretty, not too big (pool area). they watched the water light show, sat in the lobby, at a the restaurants, went to the character dinners with the kids and enjoyed it.
For this reason, I might also recommended AKL - lots to see and do right in the lodge.

The ecv will be a big help, if she likes commandeering it.
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Old 10-07-2013, 12:34 PM   #27
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Being that you will need to go back and forth to your resort quite often, I agree with the others that BLT/CR is a great option for you. If you can swing it, a TPV will be a great memory for your mom (and the rest of you too!). Your mom won't miss out on Wishes because she can watch it right from her balcony.

I also think an Epcot resort would be ideal. It's a gorgeous area that she can enjoy. We took my parents to BC about 5 years ago and they still talk about it. Epcot is a short walk away and HS is a longer walk, maybe 20 minutes at a normal walking pace. If your mom enjoys dinners, it would be super easy to stroll into Epcot for dinner being that you enter Epcot in the back in the countries.

I don't think a bus-resort would be ideal with an ecv. The monorail is really nice and easy, and walking paths to parks are of course very ideal. I'd zero in on BLT/CR for walking path to MK and view of Wishes....or else an Epcot resort for walking to 2 parks and enjoying the atmosphere of that whole area.
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Old 10-07-2013, 12:50 PM   #28
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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.
Thanks, Sheilby. I hope you are able to figure things out.
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Old 10-07-2013, 01:30 PM   #29
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What about the Polynesian Resort? You would have the same access to the monorail plus the Epcot monorail is pretty convenient. Would the tropical atmosphere appeal? Just another one to maybe consider.

You are a fabulous daughter.
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:23 PM   #30
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Thanks for the information about how the two bedrooms are set up in BWV and BCV and the others. I don't get having a queen and a sleeper sofa in the the 2nd bedroom of a two bedroom villa. Since there is already a sitting area in the living room why wouldn't they put two beds in the 2nd bedroom? Seems a lot more useful.
BWV had no dedicated 2 bedrooms (only lock out - so 1-bedroom and studio).

BCV does - and yes they were surpose to be 2-queen beds in the 2nd bedroom - but either the design was wrong or the builder did not understand - so instead of at least 75 (forget how many 2-bedroom dedicated at BCV) 2-bedrooms were too small for the 2nd queen bed. Now think they could have put 2 double beds - so not sure why they did not do that.

now the sofa bed at DVC resorts is much more comfortable than a regular sofa bed. that say - would only put younger people on it - say age 50 and under.

the views at BCV - are not that great - BCV was put there as an after thought.

BWV - was not - it has some nice views.

BLT was where the north wing at the CR was located and it has wonderful views of the MK area and Bay lake
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