Taking elderly relative to WDW

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by cmdg, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. cmdg

    cmdg Mouseketeer

    Jul 26, 2009
    Not sure if this is the right board, but I have some reservations about our trip next summer.

    My DS, DH and I will be at the WL and my Aunt, cousins, cousin's friends (he gets to bring 2 or 3) and grandma will be at Ft. Wilderness. They will have a golf cart.

    My grandma is 86 and over the past year has been pretty seriously impacted from a stroke. She is still mobile, but very, very slow. She will need a wheelchair while there for sure.

    I told my aunt (who is like my mother) that I was concerned about brining my grandma due to her health and her ability to really enjoy the experience, but my grandma is adamant that she wants to go and my aunt agrees.

    Has anyone had any experience with older relatives at WDW?
  2. sharadoc

    sharadoc Visit WDW since '86, driving since '94.

    May 6, 2008

    My suggestion would be to rent a wheelchair from an outside company, if she is light, maybe a folding one. Or if she can walk at all, you can wait until you get to a park and rent one there.

    The cabin and Fort Wilderness in general may be much more of a challenge for her than a regular resort would be. Has your aunt requested an accessible cabin? Otherwise, she would have to step into a regular bathtub/shower which is higher than a regular tub is, like it's on a raised platform. And walk up stairs to the cabin front door. Only 4 people can fit in a golf cart, unless they rented a larger one from an outside company. How will that work, or is it for the rest of the family to use at the campground only and you will use the buses for transportation to the bus depots/marina? If she's in a wheelchair, the bus is probably a better choice.

    You may get lots more opinions if you post over on the DISabilities board.
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  4. DVC Kelly

    DVC Kelly Mouseketeer Approved Advertiser

    Oct 10, 2011
    I agree that renting a whellechair to use at the parks is a great idea. May I also suggest trying to plan part of the trip that caters to her or something that isn't so "high energy ". For instance maybe doing a dinner experience like the Hoop Dee Doo Revue/ Its an enjoyable few hours to watch a show and eat a good meal but not be so congested by people as you may encounter when travelling within the parks.
  5. Lu Ann

    Lu Ann Afternoon Tea Hostess

    Nov 12, 2007
    We take my MIL nearly every year. She is going with us again for a week in December. She will be 87. A few years ago, we had to insist she use a wheelchair. She was worried that it would be too hard for us to push. I let her push me in it for a couple of feet, to prove to her that it is easy to push. Once she gave in, she thanked us, as she didn't end up in pain every night from so much walking. It's the walking that wears you out; in a wheelchair, she can last as long as we can. We also told her that she isn't bound to the wheelchair. Anytime she wants to get out, and walk through a store or something for a short while, all she has to do is say so.
  6. hoosll

    hoosll DIS Veteran

    Aug 23, 2000
    One of my favorite trip memories was an elderly couple in matching wheel chairs on the boat from WL. They were on their first trip with their family to celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary ... they married young back then ... and had never spent a night apart.

    They were having the time of their life with ears and matching tees announcing their anniversary. They weren't there to ride the rides or even shop the shops ... they were enjoying the happiest place on earth ... it is beautiful and magical.

    I hope somebody is loving enough to push me around the world when I reach my 80s and need a chair.
  7. cmdg

    cmdg Mouseketeer

    Jul 26, 2009
    Oh this makes me feel much better. She hates the humidity and has just been so slow getting around, when she does decide to go out, that I was worried she would have a bad time.

    A accessible cabin is a good idea. My aunt wanted to do the cabins bc my grandma takes so long to do the little things like breakfast -- this way she can get up, they'll cook her breakfast and she can eat for the hour while everyone else is getting ready.

    We'll have our 3 year old so early dinners will be key for us too!
  8. Wood Nymph

    Wood Nymph DIS Veteran

    Sep 19, 2012
    This is such a beautiful story. How I would love to be them someday.
  9. disnut8

    disnut8 DIS Veteran

    Jan 21, 2005
    My father is at Disney World right now with my stepmother and her sister. He's 83 years old, has something kind of like Parkinson's (the University of Florida can't even diagnose this), can barely speak, and takes tons of time to do anything. His mind is sharp as a tack so it's not a good situation. He has his own wheelchair and my stepmother pushes him around.

    He's having a great time.

    Rent from an outside company so you have the chair or scooter 24/7, realize you might have to go slower than others and just enjoy the time with the people you love.

    It sucks getting older but every one of us does it every single day.

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