Power wheelchair and restaurants

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Forum Supporter
Jul 29, 2017
Southern Oregon
What do most people do?

Most restaurant tables are not tall enough to accommodate my pwc sliding underneath them so that my legs don’t bang into the edge of the table.

At home, I have a counter height table, which solves the problem.

I’ve used the bar seating at restaurants when it’s just one other person and myself, and that works.

But I’d like to be able to go out to restaurants while I still can with a group of people and not be limited to just bar seating.

Does anyone here have any suggestions?
Many bars in my area have round tables in the bar area that accommodate wheelchairs and meals are served in that area and also in the dining area. Perhaps have a friend take a bit of a tour and see what can be found.
Karen, when did you get your pwc? You still walk some, right? Just curios when you use wheelchair and when just make a short walk. Do you have van to transport it?
Cathy, yes, see my post in this thread.

I can still walk a little in the house, holding onto a walker or furniture.

I did go to one restaurant where I transferred from wheelchair to restaurant chair. Fortunately there was room next to the restaurant table to park the pwc. Fortunately also I still have enough upper body strength to get out of a standard size chair if it has arm rests or a table near by. But that’s not going to be a workable long term solution.

Does anyone ever use a tray on a pwc for eating? I still think being able to pull up to the table like everyone else would be ideal.

Perhaps not all restaurants will be pwc accessible in the compete sense. Just another gift of the monster.
High tables are the best when dining out. I find many establishments offer those, though often they are in the bar area of the restaurant.

When I must sit at a regular-height table, if there is enough room I sit with the left side of my wheelchair parallel to the edge of the table. My left arm is stronger and I can use it more easily this way. This often means I sit at the end of the table. I cannot see the folks on the side of the table behind me when doing this.

If I must pull up straight to a table I cannot fit the wheelchair under, I pull up as close as I can and just deal with it. I generally don't eat anything when parked that way.

A swing away joystick mount can be very helpful, as it can allow me to get closer to some table. However, if my knees are too high to go under the table, having a swing away joystick mount does not do me any good.

And, regardless of which way I am positioned at the table, I turn off the wheelchair once positioned. I think many of us have found out the hard way that the number of ways the joystick can accidentally be moved approaches infinity;).

I have trays for 2 of my power wheelchairs. I don't use them when dining out because they stick out so far they put me further away from the table.

We have encountered the same problem. For now, I try to scout out restaurants that have high top tables. Even some of them are difficult. We also try to go when the restaurant is likely to be less crowded. Yes, more compromises because of the beast.
just about all my waking hours are spent in my f5. however, I can still walk short distances with a walker. problem is finding a reserved parking spot near the restaurant's front door. I like tex mex food and most have a few high tables which can generally accomodate my pwc. problem now though is declining hand dexterity which impedes self-feeding. my solution? - - I now eat less and drink more (although sometimes with a straw) ! ! BTW, drinking beer through a straw doesn't make one tipsy faster.
Our support group, with five people in chairs, used to go to several restaurants. They had regular tables but they would stack them so the people in chairs could be as comfortable as possible. Some ate on small trays, others did what Steve described, and two of them were fed by their CALS. It all worked out.
M angles his chair along the corner and side. It takes up two places but allows him to get to his food. We have also asked the waiter if they have a cutting board or hard surface that he can rest on his lap. Wait people can be remarkably resourceful.
following. ive run into this too
Remember to adjust the tilt, recline and foot rests (in that order) as the last step once you are there, as you can kind of carve yourself into the table easier.
In my front wheel drive Permobil F3 I've so far been able to get my legs under the tables of restaurants I've been to, often just barely--sometimes the footrests bump the table support and cause problems. But I've just started using the PWC going out--previously used a rollator and sat in a chair, so may not have encountered enough sample situations. Of course I use the lowest elevation and swing the controls out of the way. I relate to Steves's comment on turning the machine off--I've moved a few tables without meaning to as my elbow bumped the joystick, fortunately no damage done--yet. I also encounter problems in restaurants with tables too close to get by, especially when occupied.

I’m now compiling a list of restaurants near me which are pwc-friendly (or not). One of them might have worked except the entrance was ridiculously narrow. Another had bar stools that sat on top of fixed posts and therefore was a no-go.

It’s fascinating once one starts paying attention.

Thanks for all the input.
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