Monday, 25 September 2017

Day Trips for people with disability

If you are a caregiver for someone who has permanent or temporary mobility problems, you know how important a change of scenery is for them and how it can boost their spirits. It is also a nice change for you and gives you a break from the monotony of doing the same thing every day. An occasional day trip is a great way to stimulate the mind and body and it makes coping with the condition easier for the patient. However, these types of trips require careful planning to ensure that they go off smoothly and do not cause any physical or mental stress to the patient. Here are some key issues to check out before planning the trip.




Planning the Trip

  • Get the doctor’s approval. Obviously, you will not go on a trip if the doctor says no. At times the answer is not so clear cut. You may be told that it is okay, but with a lot of special precautions to be taken. It is up to you to decide if you, as the caregiver, can manage or not. If in doubt, arrange for additional help to travel with you.
  • Decide where to go. Involve the patient in the process and find a place that is not too far away and which excites the patient’s interest. Make a short list of possibilities.
  • Check on how disabled friendly the places on the list are. For example, are there disabled parking access, wheelchair access, disabled toilet and accessible restaurant facilities? Avoid places that do not have these facilities but say that can make special arrangements for the patient. Most people do not like being made to feel as if they are a burden and require special facilities that are not normally available.
  • Check if any advance booking or payment is required. It will be terrible for the patient to reach a place he has been looking forward to and then finding that entry is not possible.
  • Once you find the right place, complete all the formalities.
  • Before starting the trip, make sure that any special equipment (i.e. an oxygen tank) is ready and that you are carrying any medications and food supplements that may be required.
  • One of the most critical aspects of traveling with a person with disability is finding the right form of vehicle for the journey. The wrong vehicle can ruin the trip. For example, a wheelchair bound person may be able to manage sitting in a normal car for a short journey, but a longer one could cause a lot of pain and discomfort. The safest way to travel is by using a specialized transport service.Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) is the best option. A professional NEMT company will have specialized vans for transporting people with varying mobility limitations. The drivers will also be experienced in driving people with disabilities and will be able to provide you with any assistance you may require. An often overlooked aspect is that of using an NEMT with excellent local knowledge. This will ensure that you do not get lost, take the shortest route and, in some cases, find the smoothest roads.
Remember, a well-organized short trip, even for a few hours, is good not only for the one you are caring for but for you too.