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Transport Problems - Carers UK Forum

Transport Problems

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Can anyone make any suggestions please? My mum is disabled and housebound. The visiting optician has discovered that she is developing cataracts, and has made an appointment for her to see an eye specialist at the local clinic. Her bungalow has a front porch. From the drive you go up one step into the porch, then up another fairly high step into the hall. Recently, I witnessed first hand how difficult it was for two paramedics to get her into the bungalow on discharge from hospital,using a wheelchair. The front wheels of the chair kept going round and round. I had to help by keeping the chair wheels straight. Several years ago the County Occupational Therapist arranged for some intermediate steps to be fitted in the porch for mum to use, but she never felt confident enough to use them with her Zimmer frame, on her own. When mum was in hospital an OT brought her home to have an assessment, and then mum was able to use the Zimmer and steps, with a qualified professional - but that's quite different from every day. Now she can't even answer her own front door - but opens a lounge window instead to take parcels or hand over the key to the front door. How is mum to get to see the specialist? I drive a Land Rover Discovery which mum can't get into, even if she could get out the front door. (My life was saved a few years ago by a Range Rover, so now it's a "tank" or nothing for me). If it's difficult for two paramedics to get her into the bungalow, one taxi driver isn't go to be enough, and my health problems mean I can't help with lifting. She is now talking of cancelling the appointment because of transport issues, but she really needs to go. Although she says her eyesight is OK she can no longer read the programme menu on Sky TV and so can't use the Sky Plus box I went to such a lot of trouble for her to have fitted, so it's not OK at all. I've asked Social Services for advice on how to get round the problem of access, to no avail. If only mum could get out of the house I could hire a wheelchair friendly taxi and we could go out Any ideas?
The hospital transport department should arrange for suitable transport and staff to get your mum safely to her hospital appointment. They will not take you as well, you have to meet your mum in the hospital department she is visiting, but keep pushing as the cataract removal will open a whole new world for her.

Take care
Thanks for the prompt reply. The appointment isn't at a hospital, but at a local GP practice in the town (not mum's). The local population, near Bournemouth, has one of the highest proportions of elderly in the UK, so the consultants come to the town, rather than make people go to the General Hospital 20 miles away. Obviously travelling there would be even more difficult for mum.
That does make things a bit more difficult, but if the consultant is NHS their transport should still work to get your mum there and back.

Only other suggestion I came up with was ask social services to provide suitable transport and trained staff to help your mum on the day or risk her health not seeing this consultant. That will soon get their act into gear to find an alternative.

Take care
Thanks Meg,
The Carer's Assessment requested when mum went into hospital on Christmas Eve is finally going to take place on March 5th, which will give them 2 weeks to sort something out. Mum is a keen reader and I know she's going to feel so much better once her eyes are better. My mum in law had the operation some years ago and was delighted with the results.
ring your local taxi company and ask if they can send an escort with the driver,if the taxi company does school runs they will have escorts on the books because it's a legal requirement for special needs taxi runs,hope this helps,malc
Hi Bowlingbun.....i used to take my Mum in a taxi that has access to carry a wheelchair and they strap the chair to proper belts for safety so it does not move...hope this helps!!!

Eve x Image
Thanks, however first I need to find a way of getting mum out of the house!
Just a thought - would temporary ramps work? I mean the ones that are metal and are sometimes used for getting trikes or wheelchairs from the back of a car. This would only work if the step into porch and step up to hallway are in line rather than at right angles from each other.

Would a call to the OT be helpful do you think? How about the Red Cross or am I clutching at straws now Image
They might well be the answer. Thank you. OT's are like gold dust around here but mum was supposed to have a visit from one after her return from hospital which hasn't materialised yet, so I'll chase it up. I've also got to chase up the physio, also supposedly arranged. Living in one County and being taken to A&E in another one has caused simply endless problems for us.