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How can I help my children enjoy holidays with disabled dad? - Carers UK Forum

How can I help my children enjoy holidays with disabled dad?

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
Hi I'm new to the forum and am so comforted to read that others have similar feelings. My problem is that my young husband developed Parkinsons Disease 2years ago (age38). We have 3 children under 5 and I'm finding that doing anything which involves walking is a nightmare. He is very slow which means that we all have to go slowly, very hard when a 5 year old at a carnival is keen to get to the bouncy castle or whatever.

I feel bad for complaining but it really getsme down and I'm in danger of just not bothering to go anywhere as it's so frustrating. We're going on a week's holiday in August, just a caravan at the coast, and frankly I'm dreading it. I doesn't help when we can't even chat as we walk since his speech has become so bad I often can't hear or understand what he's saying.

Please tell me I'm not being mean, I feel awful for saying it. Has anyone got any ideas? I've tried saying "you sit here whilst we go..." or "we'll go ahead and meet you there" but he just looks terribly hurt.
The answer is a mobility scooter. I was disabled in a car accident 5 years ago. Bravely tried to manage with a stick but it was hard work, and I was miserable. Then a friend offered me the use of his late mum's scooter when we were at a steam show (I own a 12 ton steam roller and traction engine and rallying was my life from when I married at 19 years old). I used it for one day..and bought it! It was truly liberating to be able to sit and chat to people without terrible pain, and easier to laugh and joke. I'm sure your OH, like me, will see this as admitting defeat, but get him to hire one and he'll see the difference. A friend was disabled in a car accident, wheelchair bound, but kept going to shows with his engine. His children were small and would sit on his lap (self propelled chair). My "Cripple Cart" as my sons called it was great, and other people tried it and enjoyed it. I had a basket on the front, bag on the back to take all my bits and pieces. I'm happily able to walk miles now, thanks to two knee replacements, but still remember my Cripple Cart happily!
I agree with Bowling Bun - a mobility scooter is the answer. My husband resisted it for years but gave in when I laid it on the line - him not able to walk far was ruining all our days out & even a trip into town became a nightmare where he was slow & prone to tripping.

A scooter was the best thing we ever did & my husband agrees. He is independent when we are out & I don't have the same worry about him falling. We have even gone down a welsh coal mine with him on his scooter - we could never have gone with him walking as it was dark & the ground uneven. He has given the odd lift to small, tired nephews and neices on days out.

It was liberating for everyone but most especially my husband.
PS - forgot to mention that my husband was only 45 when he got his.
I also use a mobility scooter - I wouldn't be able to participate in days out without it or even go about the shops in Glasgow if I did not have it. I first tried a mobility scooter on a holiday in Florida in 1995 when I was aged 36 and it made such a difference. I have the muscle weakness associated with being a manifesting carrier of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and the balance problems caused by Debendox (thalidomide) damage.

Eun
Christine I agree re a mobility scooter. Lots of attractions have them to borrow/loan - so he could try it out. I look after S a lively, active young man of 21 (who has autism.) When I had my hip operation I hired a scooter and it made SUCH a difference as I could take S out and about. Upto that point I had sometimes borrowed one at different venues just before the op too. Meant I could enjoy taking him out and participate at more than a snail's pace AND not be so exhausted that I couldn't enjoy myself. I was in my early 40's.

Melly1
They are not that expensive to buy - mine cost around 600 pounds. There are all sorts of colours out now compared to when I got mine. There's bright orange, yellow, green, white and I've even seen a lovely Barbie pink one!

Eun
Agree with all the above. Failing that, buy a jetpack.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EP3JIrJMrrY
wow im so pleased i came across this discussion.
my husband is disabled and we have three children.
ive always struggled feeling like a single parent doing all the trips out and playing with them. they all older now but we miss out so much on family time.
he has had a mobility scooter since he was 40 but we cant get that and all five of us in the car.
i feel awful but i often resent the fact that we cant all go out together. we cant book a holiday because of his mobility.
pleased im not alone with these problems and feelings.
i would be very pleased to add friends on here who care for younger partners like me.
diane
x
Diane we drive a Renault Master with a tailgate lift and it takes our 28 year old son in his very large powered wheelchair with all his ventilator equipment, my unfolded mobility scooter and we still have room for all the week's shopping. Would something like this not help you?

Eun