Is 87 Years Old Too Old to Travel?
Alice, a seasoned traveler who is now a widow and has mobility issues, wasn’t sure. She loved to go on cruises, which she had been doing for some 50 years. However, she had always gone with her husband, who was also an adventurer. Without him, she felt so lost. She had the money. She had the desire. Could she do it physically? Knee problems and leg pain were getting her down. She could no longer walk or stand for long periods. She had serious doubts. (read more).
When a family member suggested getting a wheelchair for the trip, Alice balked. She could stand, exercise, walk, drive her car, live independently and take care of herself for the most part. A wheelchair?? Isn’t that for OLD people?
She booked the trip, invited to treat her adult children to the cruise, and then nearly cancelled. She’d been to Europe before. The hills, the walking, the stamina needed just might be beyond her capabilities. But, when her family talked her into getting the wheelchair, ordered it for her, and it arrived, she changed her mind. This might be ok.
Twelve days in beautiful ports with the excitement, the services of a cruise ship, and her familiarity with this kind of travel was enough to entice her to go ahead. One of her kids accompanied her on the flight to the port of departure. That helped. So did the wheelchair escort in the airports. She learned that wheelchair customers go to the front of the line. The other kids met her at the rendezvous point, and it all worked out well.
The lightweight, portable wheelchair was a godsend. (Cost: $150.00). It weighed just under 15 pounds and collapsed easily. It had to be pushed by one of her kids, but that was fine. She used it often during the exploration of the ports of call, always accompanied by a family member. She could sit in the shade and wait awhile if they wanted to go ahead for a bit and see something in a place that was too steep for her.
With the use of a well engineered assistive device and some help from her family, Alice was able to enjoy the trip from start to finish. She walked freely around the ship without the chair, only taking it to go ashore. This is a success story for an 87 year old who had never traveled without her husband, and was brave enough to take the risks and adapt to her limited mobility. Last we heard, Alice is planning the next cruise, looking ahead to savoring life as much as possible.
By Carolyn L. Rosenblatt, R.N., B.S.N., Attorney
Ó 2009, AgingParents.com
|Last Updated ( Monday, 09 November 2009 17:03 )|