Travel to friend’s house

kljack16

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I see a lot of threads about travel, but what happens when we get there? Our friends built a fantastic new house, but every bedroom/full bathroom is upstairs.

My husband is still mobile, but stairs are difficult/dangerous and by July, when we would go, his mobility will likely be even less.

Are there any options for portable beds that would be safe? I’m thinking I can give him a sponge bath in the half bath downstairs, and he can use that as his toilet (I’ll have to measure if he’s wheelchair bound by then).

Any advice on how to navigate this? Or maybe it’s just best not to go, but it’s a place he loves going and looks forward to every year. I’ve looked for rentals nearby and there aren’t any.

Thank you in advance.
Kelli
 

lgelb

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You can buy cot and mattress combinations, going as high off the floor as you can (you can get risers that go on the legs) delivered to your friends. If stairs are difficult now, I would definitely not plan for their use in July.

Alternatively, you could ask your friends to network with their nearby friends/their friends and so on, and try to find you somewhere to stay. Facebook neighborhood groups, NextDoor, etc. can be helpful in getting the word out.
 

Bestfriends14

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Hi Keli,

Make a plan for getting into their house, as well. What is the entrance to the house like? As for the half bath downstairs, there are loads of options for rolling commode chairs that are inexpensive. We ordered ours from Walmart when we realised my husband's chair wouldn't fit into either of our bathrooms, nor would the hoyer lift.

Speaking of, if your husband is possibly facing a wheelchair by July, you'll need a hoyer lift if he's unable to transfer. Finally, check into a nearby ALS Society to see if they can lend equipment should you need anything. If your husband wants to go, there are ways to make it possible.
 

kljack16

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Thank you!

I will look into the cot option. Just have to find one sturdy enough - my husband is tall and thin, but balance was an issue before the ALS; so you can imagine now.

Yes - stairs won’t do.

Also, I have been looking at hoyers. We are moving (our current house and town aren’t really conducive to this disease - we have to get to better medical and support options); so I’ve put off some of the future equipment needs until I know where we’ll be and more what we’ll need. As all of you know - it’s a bit overwhelming and a huge learning curve.

Thank you for responding. It is very much appreciated. 🙂
 
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ph115

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You could rent a lift recliner for him to sleep on while visiting.
 

Fusia

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You could look into renting a hospital bed from a DME, short term, while you were at your friends' house.
 

Nuts

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I applaud you for looking for ways to make this trip feasible. My husband and I did a lot of traveling, and I have a lot of stories (some of them a bit hair raising). It's not easy, but it made living worthwhile for him. We traveled to Colorado every year so that he could hunt with his childhood friend who is a Taxidermist there. The first year that we could not make the trip was the year that I lost him. He looked forward all year to the trips, and talked about them right up until he made the next one. Great memories!

If you can get him into the house and if there is a private space on the main floor, you can figure it out. Truly, the biggest obstacle after that is money. You can rent hospital beds and Hoyer lifts, and with those two items and a bucket you can accomplish just about anything. If there is a room you can take over but it lacks a door, use command hooks and a sheet to block the entrance and provide privacy. If he is too weak to transfer to the toilet, you can get hand held urinals. For the more serious stuff, use a Hoyer lift to suspend him over a bucket.

Oh--the other thing that really helps is a sense of humor. Warn your friends that things are going to be more than a bit unconventional, and then enjoy yourselves.

Edit to add: We had a portable Hoyer lift that folded and could be stowed in a large trunk, hatchback, or van. Even if you eventually have a ceiling lift, you will want a Hoyer in case he falls or you need to transfer him somewhere that the ceiling track does not reach. With that in mind, and if you plan to be traveling, a portable lift might be something you don't need to wait on.
 
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