Senior Lifestyle, When Steps Make a Difference

Many seniors have difficulty walking even for short distances. But there's no reason that their enjoyment of life should be curtailed because their mobility is restricted. Thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act, people with limited mobility now have many more choices to explore the world than they did two decades ago. People with walkers or wheelchairs can more easily attend ball games, go to concerts, and even fly to distant parts of the world.

With a little preparation on your part, your loved one will get around more easily. Here are some tips you can follow to smooth the way:

  • At events. The management of most concert halls and stadiums make accommodations for people with limited mobility. Oftentimes, they reserve elevators for people with handicaps, enabling them to avoid the crush of people arriving or leaving the venue. Many concert halls and stadiums also have special sections for people in wheelchairs—and sometimes these are among the best seats in the house. For instance, in baseball stadiums, this seating is often found behind home plate. Call ahead of time to find out what accommodations will be available for your loved one.
  • In the air. When buying tickets, go over the details of the flight carefully with the reservation agent. Arrange for your loved one to be picked up by an airport cart once you pass through security. Find out if you will be boarding the plane from the gate or, in the case of flights between smaller airports, from the tarmac and if any special arrangements are necessary. Ask if there is an aisle chair so that your loved one can use the restroom if necessary. And above all, arrive at the airport with plenty of time to spare.
  • Back at the hotel. Most hotel chains have wheelchair-accessible rooms, but there is often a great deal of variation in the layout of their properties. As a result, it's smart to make reservations directly at the hotel where you plan to stay, and not at a centralized reservation desk. Ask questions about the room—and about the accessibility of all public spaces, including the entrance.

You can also make it easier on yourself by arranging for your loved one to take a tour with a company that specializes in travel for people with disabilities.