There is an estimated 650 million people worldwide who live with some type of disability and because they are vast in nature, affecting people of all ages, there are many factors that go into planning a trip when traveling with a disabled person.
For instance, an individual who is wheelchair bound, will need assistance getting in and out of a car, managing doorways, as well as toileting and bathing. While a person that has severe arthritis and has difficulty walking or issues with balance, their needs will be quite different. If you are traveling with someone who has some form of dementia, yet again, the strategies and tools will be different when in travel mode.
Fortunately, you do not necessarily have to forego that summer vacation if you are traveling with a loved one who has a disability. Planning ahead is the key to a successful trip. Whether staying in a hotel, bed and breakfasts, a relative’s house or even a cruise ship, it is important to anticipate the needs ahead of time.
Consider these variables when planning your trip:
- Wherever you decide to stay, be sure the accommodations will meet your criterion. This includes a hotel that is ADA compliant—grab bars in the bathrooms, wheelchair access and raised toilet seats.
- If you are taking a driving trip, make sure you have a wheelchair tag so that parking and walking does not become a hindrance.
- If you or your loved one is confined to a wheelchair, make sure you invest in a Travel suitcase to keep everything close by—this will help to alleviate the stress of sifting through your other luggage!
- Avoid restaurants that make accessibility impossible or extremely difficult. If at all possible, using a walker will help to navigate these more challenging places.
- Lack of adaptable toilets in restaurants or other public places can be a problem, so consider keeping a Portable seat lift with you while on the road.
- If you are not sure whether all your destinations will have wheelchair Ramps or Transfer aids, think about investing in some of these assistive devices to bring along with you.
- You can make traveling with a family member who has a disability a fun, adventurous time, however, having the right tools in place and preplanning will dictate the success of your trip.
© Copyright 2018 The Wright Stuff, Inc. Articles may only be redistributed in its unedited form. Written permission from The Wright Stuff, Inc. must be obtained to reprint or cite the information contained within this article.