Dad is in a NH. We want to take him out but it is an ordeal, and costly. It is $150 for a half day. And scheduling this outside service is a lot of work. Any ideas anyone has? No one in the family has a good vehicle where a wheelchair can fit in, either.
For the first few months I had to rent a wheelchair van and yes it is costly - I hope you find someone local who can help you get him out - I know how much my mom enjoys it. 🤞🏼🦋
I took his walker, wheelchair, and oxygen tanks every time we went someplace. Fortunately, I had a Ford Escort wagon with a nice flat bed for loading the wheelchair and other support systems.
Lifting the wheelchair wasn't easy, but I could slide it to the edge of the flatbed, then gradually lower it. Getting it in was the reverse - edging it up gradually then sliding it into the flatbed. Oxygen tanks were more cumbersome.
Personally, I think it's worth it to find an easier and cheaper method of giving him a break; just being outside makes someone who's inside 24/7 feel better. And depending on where you live, the Autumn display could be so refreshing.
I'm assuming that you've contacted specific transit companies such as those that maintain large vans? The $150 sounds about right for what they would charge.
What about a direct delivery service, such as the Small Bus services of larger transit systems? They're much cheaper, but you do have to arrange trips a minimum of time before needed; I don't remember how many days it was.
Your profile doesn't provide any indication on where you live, so it's not possible to search for transit agencies and small bus operations, but you can check that out yourself. When I last contacted ours, the transit cost was only a few dollars.
Just for safety measures. NOT just his but yours or whoever is responsible for transporting him.
But is he using a full size wheelchair? If so some of the smaller Transport Chairs might be easier to get into and out of the car. You can also get racks that will hold a wheelchair and attach it to the car. I am sure they have covered ones for areas where snow would be a problem.
Make sure he has a Gait Belt on so you can use that to help him get up.
I placed a Contractor Garbage Bag with the bottom cut out on the seat of the car. Once my Husband sat down I could very easily lift his legs in and he would slid to a front position on the seat. To get him out of the car was the reverse, lift his legs out and he would slide toward the door. If your dad is in the wheelchair because he can not stand at all a Transfer Board would be what you would use.
Scheduling the service should not be a real problem I would think if you tell the Nursing Home that you plan on taking him out they can arrange the transport and make sure he is safely in the van. You should not have to do much if they set this up.
When I got to the Dr office, I had to drag the wheelchair out of the back seat then maneuver to get dad out and then back into the car. The wheel chair was heavy for me. One time while trying to get the wheelchair back into the car a nice stranger took over for me and got it in - no problem (I think of this man from time to time and really appreciate the time he took for me).
It got to be so cumbersome that finally the facility's van would drop him off and for a while I'd bring him back - finally they did drop off and pick up.
So unless the wheelchair your dad has is overly large, it should fit in the backseat of someone's car - the only drawback is that no one else beside the driver and dad would be able to ride in the car.
In order to attend her granddaughter's wedding, we hired one of her caregivers to go with her. The caregiver got her in and out of the rented Buick sedan, folded the wheelchair, which fit in the backseat, and took care of her during the ceremony and reception. We paid the care giver time and a half his regular salary, as it was his day off.
This is what my clan does & it works well enough. However...
The issues are;
1. Getting OUT of a low car. Can be a problem! A right tug of war! Do NOT want to injure him or yourself!
2. Toilet duty. Will there be wheelchair accessible facilities? How hard will this be? Who will assist?
3. Flexibility. Is there ability for Dad's *team* to abort & return him to the home asap if required?
Could try a local restaurant or park with facilities first? While private homes are a nice idea, they often come with steps to get in.
It's wonderful to keep involving Dad & I wish you the best. Sometimes all you need is a little creative thinking (& some honour 😄 if it goes wrong).
Just keep practical matters in mind eg a urinal bottle can be a great thing!
Be honest with your assist *team*. I heard SO many times "oh we can all help" but the reality was very very different. So only bite off what you can chew.
Another option would be to get a carrier rack and mount it to the car. You would be able to attach a wheelchair to it much like you see bike racks used. They also have larger racks that attach and fit larger things like scooters.
If you don’t do this already please keep a Gait belt on him. This will allow you to help him remain steady, help him stand up and or transfer to another chair
We want to take him out to a local restaurant, or sit outside, or to the lake. (5 minutes) We also want to consider a family event at a family's house, about a 5 minute ride. I cannot bear that he will never come out of the SNF.
Each transport (external) is about $100-$150. I do know a friend of mine had a Honda Odyssey she used for her father, who had a wheelchair-- that seemed to be ideal, except I'm not sure who could buy it, maintain it, and drive it. (Makes you appreciate what you have.)
Your profile does not give a clue what his medical concerns and needs are. Makes it very hard to answer your question.