If your well into your 80s, never ridden or drove an ECV before - nor ever drove a car...

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by ErinsMommy, Apr 24, 2018.

  1. ErinsMommy

    ErinsMommy And though she be but little, she is fierce.

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    what is the likelihood that Mom will be able to successfully use an ECV without taking people out that are in her path along the way? Mom thinks 'its no big deal' while I'm not as confident (a manual wheelchair isn't an option, at all).
     
  2. Hoodie

    Hoodie <font color=purple>Going to BC and GF with one wee

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    This made me laugh. My grandfather would have been in the same situation and said the same thing - and would have promptly either crashed into a trash can,a person or a wall. It just jumped out at him!

    Have her practice at stores, if possible. While I saw a few pedestrian/ECV encounters that could have been chalked up to inexperience, I saw far more ECV/immovable object ones for inexperienced drivers.
     
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  4. ErinsMommy

    ErinsMommy And though she be but little, she is fierce.

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    Yes! LOL. She threw out the possibility of joining us during our November trip so she wouldn't have a chance at a 'practice run' since she's in assisted living and just uses a cane or walker there, which makes me that much more unsure. You use your feet for the gas and brake correct? Or are they on the handlebar?
     
  5. poodledogs55

    poodledogs55 Mouseketeer

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    I took my grandmother to Disney a few years ago and had a similar situation. She hadn’t driven a car in years. She rented a scooter and had a very hard time maneuvering it. Luckily, we were able to return it easily and rented a wheelchair instead. She was worried about me having to push her, but it was so easy for me to maneuver and I could move at my own pace.
     
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  6. ErinsMommy

    ErinsMommy And though she be but little, she is fierce.

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    Wish I could push her, but between her pride and having myself otherwise occupied with my daughter as well, a wheelchair just isn't doable. My Mom I guess had this vision of "how hard is it to press a handle, or push a foot peddle?". I don't want her in Disney miserable and unhappy, nor honestly to make it difficult for us as well.
     
  7. lanejudy

    lanejudy Moderator Moderator

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    To my knowledge, none of the ECVs use pedals; controls are on the handlebars. Can you take her for an outing to the grocery store to try one out? Or does her assisted living facility provide transportation to a store (my mom’s does). What is your “Plan B” if her driving skills aren’t adequate? Driving an ECV at a WDW requires paying close attention at all times, which may be another challenge even if she can steer appropriately.

    Enjoy your vacation!
     
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  8. ErinsMommy

    ErinsMommy And though she be but little, she is fierce.

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    We have them in local grocery stores which I guess is an option if I take her to one. Her ASL doesn't provide transportation anywhere - fortunately she's local enough that I'm her transportation when she needs to go out or do something. :) Haven't given thought to a plan B, but I have a feeling she'll back out of it sooner than my trying to convince her that its not the best idea. Thank you for the input. :)
     
  9. Robo

    Robo 1971 Castle in the Hub: Your lights are on!

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    And, Walmart is also an option for shopper-scooters in most locations.
     
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  10. cobright

    cobright DIS Veteran

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    Odds are decent she'll do okay. Controls on an ecv are pretty intuitive and I'm often surprised at how easily people take to it. Also, many of them have a fun-governor dial that lets you cap the top speed.

    To get upon my soapbox once more, this is another example showing why we need smarter controls available on mobility tech. My rental car I'm in right now will not let me drive it into the garage wall, will correct me if I drift from my lane at 70mph, and will apply the breaks for me if a pedestrian bolts in front of me. But we worry about mum's ecv clipping a curb or rolling someone's ankle at 4mph.
    <Puts soapbox away>
     
  11. Hopefully

    Hopefully DIS Veteran

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    @lanejudy is correct. All of the controls are hand controls. There aren’t any pedals. There also aren’t any brakes which is part of the challenge. They do stop fairly quickly, but not on a dime.
    How is her vision? How is her ability to concentrate intently for hours at a time?
    As a mid 60’s lifelong, current car driver I find it very tiring. Folks stop short in front of you. They walk into you. The suddenly dart in front of you to get ahead.
    I worry given your description
     
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  12. TinkerPan

    TinkerPan Mouseketeer

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    If this were my mother I'd find a way to make it work. Even when my mom was in her nineties our family always found a way to accommodate her and include her in our outings whenever possible. I can only imagine what a great experience it would be for your mom to leave the nursing home for time at Disney. By all means give the ECVs at a grocery store or such a trial run. If that doesn't work consider Plan B. Perhaps, another relative or friend, who could push a wheel chair, can join you? I know a lot of young folks would jump at a chance if you paid their admission. Or you could hire a caregiver service? Maybe you could plan half days with her and then she won't slow you down too much and it wouldn't be too tiring for her. While it might take some sacrifice on your part now to make it happen, in a few years looking back I'm sure you will be glad you did.
     
  13. poodledogs55

    poodledogs55 Mouseketeer

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    Sorry about that! I was fortunate enough to have it work out for us. I’m not sure if recommending ECV companies is allowed, but the one we used (Apple) had excellent customer service. Hopefully the other responses will be more helpful.
     
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  14. ErinsMommy

    ErinsMommy And though she be but little, she is fierce.

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    Thank you all for the input and suggestions - bigger challenge right now is there’s no room availability at all at Bwi for the first part of our split stay and she’ll want to be at the same resort. Second part is her expectations I fear are a tad unrealistic and I think if she goes into this and it falls apart it’ll hurt more than help - so thinking maybe redirecting her to a cruise so we’re not so overwhelmed by the parks and her getting around large spread out areas. The idea behind this all was to spend time together as a family and get her outside the NY/Nj metro area for a few days and give her a break from every day life. It’s been a not so pleasant last few weeks for all of us and especially her :(
     
  15. Allison

    Allison DIS Veteran

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    Honestly, I can easily imagine that not working out well.
     
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  16. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

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    Everything is hand control.
    The steering is similar to steering a bicycle. There is a handlebar arrangement like bicycles have for steering and a throttle for making it go. The speed you go at is controlled by how far you push (or turn, depending on the ECV) the throttle.
    There is also a speed control that sets the top speed - they are often marked with a rabbit for fast and a turtle for slow.
    A lot of people I see having issues have the speed set too fast. When you are stopped and then start up again to go, it may accelerate faster than you realize. I still cringe thinking of a guy we saw in line at the Safari. That line does a lot of stopping; every time he started again, the ECV accelerated quickly, which surprised him and often caused him to steer to one side or the other. Since his elbows were sticking out, he kept slamming into the line rails with his elbows o_O
    I agree with other posters - trying one out would be very helpful. If you do decide to go ahead with renting one, gave her drive around the resort before venturing out.
    I agree with your comments about it being tiring. The driver needs to be constantly alert for other people and ready to stop quickly at any point. That can get very tiring, very quickly.

    Most people think ECVs don’t have any brakes because there is no brake to apply like in a car.
    ECVs actually do have brakes and they are automatic. When the driver is applying power by activating the throttle, the brakes are off. As soon as the throttle is not activated, no power is being sent to the motor and the brakes are automatically on. The ECV stops fairly quickly, but as you mentioned, it doesn’t stop on a dime.
    The faster you were going, the longer it will take to stop.
     
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  17. Euby

    Euby DIS Veteran

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    A cruise would be a great idea! I've gone to Hawaii and Alaska (twice) with my Mom. Each time I used a manual wheelchair to help her get around the ship. We cruised on Holland America. Even though they are not a "party" line, there are still lots of things to do, plus they have kids clubs on each ship.
     
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  18. North of Mouse

    North of Mouse DIS Veteran

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    IMO, would never put my elderly granny on a scooter in a crowded Disney park. I would be a nervous wreck worrying. Their reactions are so much slower at that age.
    We were just there and it really amazed me how much some riders treated their scooters like a car - going in a straight line and expecting everyone else to leave their route open!! :eek:
    I would definitely find a plan B somehow, so you can enjoy the trip also!
     
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  19. ErinsMommy

    ErinsMommy And though she be but little, she is fierce.

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    Thank you all! :wave2:
     
  20. scrapquitler

    scrapquitler DIS Veteran

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    Take her to your local grocery store or Walmart and have her practice driving the ECV at the store.
     
  21. Debbie Jean

    Debbie Jean DIS Veteran

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    I can't imagine someone her age with her background doing this. I agree with the person who said they would be a nervous wreck! Using an ECV at Disney is a lot like driving in Manhattan... not for the faint of heart LOL

    It isn't a matter of where the controls are. How quick are her reflexes? In crowds like Disney they need to be quick... and it's constant. And you need to have eyes looking everywhere.

    Take her to a store and have her try one there... that may give you a better idea.
     
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