Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Flying to Italy with a power chair ... any tips?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Flying to Italy with a power chair ... any tips?

    Hi, I'm Chad - I'm Ami's husband. I've been registered forever but never ever post here or even lurk, but many people know my wife here as zillazangel - get it? he he he. Anyway.

    We are going to Italy, Florence to be exact in November. I am petrified of actually taking my power chair, but Ami thinks we should try. So we decided to come here and ask for advice, ideas, tips, arguments against it !! and the what not.

    So, commence with the scoop on going to Europe from the States with a fat ass power chair that costs more than our car and would be real bad if it got broken ....

    Chad, C4 complete for a long time, uh 17 years

    #2
    How do you plan to transport the chair once you get to Italy? Wheelchair accessible buses, trains and vans are few and far between and if found, VERY expensive in Italy. In addition, while there are curb cuts in some areas, they don't exist in many, so a bump up a curb is more common than not when doing the tourist thing. Lots of museums have no elevators either...you may need to find help to carry you up a flight of stairs...and no one is going to volunteer for this with a power chair. I would recommend at least taking a manual chair too, but consider not taking your power chair at all.

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

    Comment


      #3
      We are ging to Spain next year and not taking my powerchair for all the reasons KLD mentions.
      Emily, C-8 sensory incomplete mom to a 8 year old and a preschooler. TEN! years post.

      Comment


        #4
        The old city in Florence has VERY narrow streets, TINY sidewalks and lots of motor scooters scootin everywhere. I would leave the pwr chair if you can manage at all in manual.
        Couple of other hints: attach a high flag to the chair and a couple of bright scarves to increase your profile. Take the narrowest chair you have. Be sure you have some wide tires and maybe increase the front caster size and/or dump in the chair. You're going to be in for some rough riding, so be aware. 800 year old cobblestones just don't make for a smooth trip. Lots of crowds and most churches have front steps.
        That said, buy some cool leather and eats lots of gelato. And the wine is good .
        I'm planning on being Florence in October and will be taking a look at accessablitly for a possible return w/ my son (he's a para, though, so no no pwr chair issues). I'll report back here when I retrun (Rome also, if you care.)
        BeeBee

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks

          Thanks for the info. I am a high level quad and cannot get around in a manual chair unless someone pushes me, and my wife will be there for work, so we are going to Plan B - bringing a dedicated "pusher" to push me around in my manual chair. Thanks for the insight.

          Chad

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by SCI-Nurse
            How do you plan to transport the chair once you get to Italy? Wheelchair accessible buses, trains and vans are few and far between and if found, VERY expensive in Italy. In addition, while there are curb cuts in some areas, they don't exist in many, so a bump up a curb is more common than not when doing the tourist thing. Lots of museums have no elevators either...you may need to find help to carry you up a flight of stairs...and no one is going to volunteer for this with a power chair. I would recommend at least taking a manual chair too, but consider not taking your power chair at all.

            (KLD)
            Of course, we always ALWAYS bring my manual chair when we travel for a backup. The conference for my wife's work was planning the transfers, but I think we'll go with manual only after reading this thread.

            Comment


              #7
              Another consideration: recharging the power chair. Make sure you have the correct outlet (plug in) and that the current change won't blow your battery. You will most likely need a converter (for the current) and an adapter (for the plug).
              BeeBee

              Comment


                #8
                A dedicated pusher is a good idea.
                BeeBee

                Comment


                  #9
                  Ibot

                  Have you considered getting the IBOT wheelchair, which climbs stairs?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by ip
                    Have you considered getting the IBOT wheelchair, which climbs stairs?
                    An iBot would not be appropriate for someone of Chad's level.

                    I never travel with my power chair, most definitely not to Europe.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I've travelled to Europe many times w/my powerchair, but never to Italy. Problems in Romania and Hungary where transportation is not as advanced as in W.Europe, but doable. I had to buy my converter at an appliance store in Germany. Please report back on on your trip goes!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Ibot
                        Have you considered getting the IBOT wheelchair, which climbs stairs?
                        Wow, you have $27,000.00 to spend on a wheelchair to take on a trip! You must be one rich wheeler!

                        An iBot is only appropriate for a very small minority of those who have spinal cord injuries. You must first meet the criteria for a power chair (so that would rule out most with a paraplegic injury), then ALSO have good hand function and great trunk balance. Not too many people with tetraplegia meet this criteria.

                        (KLD)
                        The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by SCI-Nurse
                          Wow, you have $27,000.00 to spend on a wheelchair to take on a trip! You must be one rich wheeler!

                          An iBot is only appropriate for a very small minority of those who have spinal cord injuries. You must first meet the criteria for a power chair (so that would rule out most with a paraplegic injury), then ALSO have good hand function and great trunk balance. Not too many people with tetraplegia meet this criteria.

                          (KLD)
                          Was the 'you're one rich wheeler' comment directed at us? (Ami typing now instead of Chad). Not sure what your sarcasm was for if so, someone else suggested it and we did not say we'd buy an ibot for a trip ......

                          Yes, KLD you are right and Clipper was right, Chad injury level is far too high to be appropriate for an ibot.

                          Thanks again to those who posted with responses. We are probably going to go for the manual chair only option.

                          Ami, Chad's wife
                          Wife of Chad (C4/5 since 1988), mom of a great teenager

                          Comment


                            #14
                            You don't need good hand function [I'm a c5], and I qualify. You just need to be able to press down with the heel of your hand to activate menu items.

                            I think the price for an IBOT is very high, but perhaps worth it. Especially travelling in Eastern Europe, etc.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by ip
                              You don't need good hand function [I'm a c5], and I qualify. You just need to be able to press down with the heel of your hand to activate menu items.

                              I think the price for an IBOT is very high, but perhaps worth it. Especially travelling in Eastern Europe, etc.
                              Unfortunately, Chad has no movement below the shoulders (including no hand function whatsoever). But I should would love it if we could, the ibot seems really cool!!! Thanks for the response,

                              Ami
                              Wife of Chad (C4/5 since 1988), mom of a great teenager

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X