In my life “before” (aka before life in a #wheelchair) I/we would get excited to be invited to an event/activity, now all I feel is anxiety and stress.
“Before,” my biggest concern was what to wear, is it a formal gathering or casual, is it evening or day and I was happy as can be choosing the perfect outfit for me and my honey! Now, my biggest concern has morphed into several concerns:
- Is the location wheelchair friendly
- Does the facility have a #Family_Restroom
- What day of the week and time is the event/activity
Is The Location Wheelchair Friendly
While most public venues are #wheelchair friendly/#accessible, there are still times when the building is not, resulting in us not attending, According to the article “… Including People With Disabilities in Your Party ” on HuffPost regarding “Physical #Access,” “. . . if your event is at a venue that is not physically accessible to all, move it to a place that is.”
Does The Facility Have A #Family_Restroom
This is major! If the facility does not have a #Family_Restroom, this is where the planning/timing begin. If I use the bathroom at home before we leave home I’m normally good for about 4-5 hours.
- How far away is the location – how long does it take to get there
- What time is event/activity scheduled to end, etc.
If travel time to and from and time spent at event/activity exceeds too much more than 5 hours, mostly likely we will not go. 🙁
What Day & Time Is The Event/Activity
Before, this wouldn’t be a concern, now, it’s a major concern. If an event is during a weekday, I can’t go because my honey is working and actually, I can’t go anywhere unless I’m with him. Why is this, well, not many have the strength to #1 lift me out of wheelchair to put me in their car, #2, lift my fold-able electric wheelchair (very heavy) and put in their car, #3 lift my wheelchair out of the car when we arrive at our destination, #4 lift me out of the car back into the wheelchair. Then, repeat the process when it’s time to leave. Not to mention, even if I was somehow able to get somewhere without him, I have no way to use the restroom if I need.
As a result, I’ve stopped meeting friends for lunch or drinks, I’ve stopped attend some family afternoon gatherings, I’ve stopped going to salon to get my hair done and so much more.
Do I understand that perhaps a very old church may not be accessible for me to attend a wedding or christening, yes, but the after party could be purposely held at an accessible location. Do I understand if friends/family hold a midweek mid-afternoon luncheon at a inaccessible location, not so much; this is where inclusion is a choice comes into play.
While I completely understand that some events/activities are held at locations, dates & times suited for the majority, I can’t help but feel that if including me in ones event/activity was important, then they would be held at a location and date/time that works for me too.
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One thought on “Inclusion. . .It’s A Choice”
I get it. Especially the bathroom. Al can’t go far in a car, his wife drives, but his legs can’t take bent position for to long. He times his medication so he can tolerate the event as far as pain level will allow. Choosing food, well how do u cut things with one hand. Buffet, well he needs his cane so has to have someone carry it and why go up lines are to long to stand in. Arm and hand feel like someone is putting a blow torch to them. Nerve damage, if only the pain would stop. At home he can’t do yard work or repairs like he could before his accident. So do I understand, you bet I do. One minute changes your life as you know it, and friends fade away, why, well you can’t do what you use to with them. No family visit I guess for same reason. His sister moved far away, mom getting old life can suck, and people say move on. Accept where you are. I wonder what they would do if in our situations. So you cry alone. Your afraid of the future. Dynamics in your own family are forever changed. You feel alone, lost, and sad. Yes I get it❤️