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Travel Tips When With Wheelchair-Bound Mate PDF Print E-mail

Q: My husband suffered a stroke recently and is now unable to walk. While in the Air Force, and for decades after retirement he was an avid world traveler. Now, his physical limits are frustrating to both of us. I won’t leave him home when I travel. Suggestions? AMT, Amarillo TX

A: In a word: patience. Plan ahead to avoid rushing to airports and being overwhelmed by crowds and tight schedules. Do everything possible to make journeys pleasant and unhurried for you and your husband.

If more convenient to leave his wheelchair at home, call ahead to airlines, cruise ships and hotels for free or rentals. If he’s capable, electric vehicles can make it easier, especially for city and historic site sightseeing tours. Create an interesting journey that includes music, culture, history, fairs and other activities. If on a cruise, be sure he gets to enjoy the entertainment, casino, bingo, spa and everything else aboard the ship. Add uncomplicated shore excursions.

Before traveling, consult with your husband’s doctor about daily needs, physical limits, as well as be prepared for potential emergencies. Have all necessary extra meds, ID cards, copies of prescriptions and load your cellphone with emergency numbers at planned travel destinations.

There are many websites with info on wheelchair travel. One example is www.disabledtravelers.com/access_guides

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