Disabled Persons Transportation
alternative transportation for the disabled
What is the best form of transportation for a recovering stroke patient who cannot walk? This was my question after my husband had a major stroke and brain surgery. If you depend on an ambulance for trips to the doctor, this will be expensive because you have to pay for two trips. We did have to take this route at first.
After months of therapy, he was able to transfer from bed to wheelchair and wheelchair to car (it took two people to “gently --- stuff” him into the car). This was very uncomfortable for him and caused him pain. Because he had left side weakness (some call it paralysis), we had to borrow a car---we had SUVs’---to take him to appointments. He had to transfer into the front passenger seat because there was a little more room to maneuver the wheelchair closer to the seat. Most car doors didn’t open up wide enough for someone to stand in front of his wheelchair to assist him into the car. On a bad day, he could barely transfer to the car.
My thought process was that we had two SUV’s and how could we get him into one of those? We tried with three people but he could not step that high—well, he could not step at all.
I searched the internet to find a van to fit his needs and found several. They cost more than we could afford, even, for a used one. I almost purchased a car similar to the ones we had borrowed but realized I could not help him transfer without help. There had to be a better option out there.
After much searching, I found a site that was able to install a seat that would turn out of the vehicle, lower to the ground, and with a push of a button raise seat and passenger back into the vehicle. It is an automatic automobile turning seat that has a push button device that is super easy to use. This seemed to be an answer to our needs. I contacted the company closest to our home, gave details about our SUV (luckily, it matched the criteria for this type of seat), arranged financing, and within a couple of days ordered the Bruno Turny seat. The company installed the seat for us and advised us that if my husband recovered so he didn’t need the special seat, they could reinstall the original seat.
We have used this seat for about 18 months. My husband and I really like the freedom this seat has given us. In most cases, I can help him transfer without additional help. We can go out to eat, go to the doctors, or just take a ride down the highway. The best part is the affordability as compared to any other form of transportation we found.
My husband was disappointed to learn that this type of seat is never installed in the driver’s side of a vehicle. There are other seats that turn and swivel manually that may help some disabled drivers. There is a list on the Bruno website that will help you determine which seat might be of value to your needs.
As anyone with disabilities knows, having the freedom to travel when you need to is a great feeling. If we lived in the city, we might have better access to stores and doctors offices without having to own a vehicle. But we are happy that we now have the freedom to get out more.