How to take mom on outing from nursing home?


Wheelchair bound two person assist to toilet or move, I can not lift at all due to spinal stenosis.

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If this is a family gathering, I'd do what Jeannegibbs suggested - take the party to the nursing home. We did that often and the staff was extremely helpful when we needed assistance.

If this is for medical reasons, I agree that you need others to assist you. I'd take my parents in a paratransit bus. They'd be in their wheelchairs, but I'd balance a walker on the handles of the wheelchair for Mom because, with the help of the walker, she could use that bathroom.

I felt that I should have a sign on my back that said "wide load" but it worked - sort of. Bulky and not great, though. At least one other body would have been very helpful.

With your back issues, having other to help is extra important.
I hope that you can find some extra bodies. Please let us know.
Take care,
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Since you aren't able to assist with transfers, I would arrange to have 2 other people go with you and be with you at all times. Don't have people just meet you somewhere, because you could have car trouble and need their help immediately.

There is a certain way you are supposed to assist people in their transfer and I would make sure the two you take with you know how to do it. People who work in the senior care field, normally are pretty good with this, from what I have seen. They are much better at helping my cousin transfer than I was.

Make sure in advance that her wheelchair will fit in the back of your car and that you know how to open and close it.

Take extra clothes, wipes, paper towels in case of accidents.

Go early in the day, before she gets tired.

I would go somewhere that has easy wheelchair access. Check it out in advance for their parking spots, entry, and rest rooms.

Possibly go somewhere that she doesn't have to get out of the car. If you do that, you can have the nursing home help get her in the car when you leave and then assist when you return. HOWEVER, I would do that as a last resort. I used to do that with my cousin, but in retrospect, it's rather risky, since you are out on the road and if you have an emergency stop, you have no one to assist you.

I would opt to rent a van that can load her in her wheelchair and she never has to get out of her chair. Our community has a service that provides that kind of transport service for seniors and the disabled. You have to make an appointment, but their cost is very low. Like under $10.00 for most trips. I'd look for a service like that.

Does the nursing home have a patio, garden or gazebo area? Sometimes, you can have a nice visit on the grounds, just bringing your own picnic. You didn't mention if she has mental decline. If that is the case, I look into whole other set of considerations with that type of issue.
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Oh ... BTW we have family gatherings right at the nh now. Her 96h bd was last week and a few of us brought in a bright tablecloth, nice dishes, roses, balloons, small gifts, and carry-out Chinese food plus cakes. She can't go to the parties, so we bring the parties to her. Works great.
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Lots of loving and good advice here. Just reminded me of an outing we did with my "second Mom" who was in a nursing home in New Orleans. Wheelchair, sit-to-stand lift, 2 person assist for everything -- all of what you've mentioned plus dementia and an arm injury that refused to heal, plus some old hip and leg stuff that flared. She was also terrified of being dropped in a transfer. Yet still I thought (being WonderWoman, of course) that I could give her a treat by taking her out. By the grace of God, it turned out okay, but it was probably pretty foolish on my part to risk it. We got her out of the wheelchair and into the passenger seat of a large Tahoe-type truck, drove her to one of her favorite restaurants, which had outdoor seating, pulled her side of the truck up to the edge of the sidewalk and pulled one of the outdoor tables over so she could be a part of the table without having to get in and out of the truck. She seemed to really enjoy being out and being able to order some really good NOLA food. The restaurant was very cooperative in terms of our moving their tables to accommodate her. Our parking was completely illegal, yet no one argued with it once they found out what we were doing. So -- mixed bag. We did give her one more good experience. She may or may not have been able to store it in her memory. And the transfers were traumatic for her and for us. We also took her to a family outing, with lots of strong young men to help with transfers. Again, a good memory for her, but seemed to create a lot of trauma for everyone else. Sometimes our very loving thoughts toward our loved ones make us compromise our common sense about the potential negative impact on our own physical realities and on others who will be impacted. It's a tough gig. So I guess my caveat would be to try to create special occasions that don't require us to be Wonder Woman. And my encouragement would be that there are, in fact, lots of very simple ways to provide them with joy and a knowledge of being loved within the limitations of not having super powers. Blessings!
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I would ask someone at the nursing home to help her get into the car. Once she's in the car however, you might have to make it just a car ride & a stop to Dairy Queen for ice cream rather than getting her out of the car again and taking her somewhere. A road trip to me, beats anything anyway. ♥
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My answer is that you don't.

My mother has been in a nursing home for 2+ years. She is a 2-person assist with a sit-to-stand machine. She also has dementia, but that is not a factor in the outing issues.

The nh has a van go to Walmart once a month. She can be wheeled onto the van. My sister and BIL meet the van at the store and wheel her around. She loves shopping this way. She never leaves the wheelchair for the entire trip to and back. It is a short enough outing that the bathroom issue doesn't come up.

We push her around the neighborhood, and she occasionally hits a garage sale, which she loves. She loves watching the gardens progress. And she always comments on the trees.

The only other outing we have arranged in 2+ years was to her sister's 100th BD party. We hired a van and a driver, who brought her both ways without needing to transfer her from the wheelchair. We worried some about bathroom needs, because we could not have transferred her, but thought this very special occasion was worth the risk. All was well on that front.

So, my answer is if someone needs 2 people to transfer out of a wheelchair that severely limits their outings, and if it is 2 people + a mechanical device that nearly eliminates all but the most important outings. Make the most of what you can do in and around the facility.

The best way is to use a van that takes the wheelchair, so no transfers are necessary. Care centers generally have these, and they are available to rent in large cities.
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Debbie, is this an outing for pleasure or for care, such as a medical visit? The limitations of both your mother and you suggest that this would be a very challenging outing, for both of you and couldn't safely be done without a third or fourth person to accompany you both and provide the assistance for safe transfers.

I think you'd also need a specially equipped ambulette or vehicle with wheelchair lift capacity.

It's very thoughtful to take your mother on an outing, but this sounds like a real challenge, and not particularly a safe one.
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DaughterDebbie, could you give us some more information. Like how long has your Mom been in the nursing home? Is this her residence or is she there for rehab? Does your Mom have any type of memory issues? Have you taken Mom out for an outing prior before she became immobile?

What I would worry about is if your Mom would refuse to return to the nursing home. That has happened before with grown children who wanted to take their parent out for the day from a continuing care facility.

My Dad [94] lives in Assisted Living and the only time he gets away from the building is if he has a doctor appointment. Dad is still pretty sharp for his age, but any type of disruption to his day, he will become more confused in the evenings [he does have what appears to be sundowner's dementia]. So we don't take him out for outings, and he never asks to go out.
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If this is an outing for pleasure. You don't take her out. You have a small gathering where she is.
If this is an outing for medical care you can either request the doctor visit her or you arrange medical transport.
You can arrange to have medical transport for an outing but it can be expensive and you have to determine if it is worth the expense and possible trauma of the transport. there are wheelchair vans that you could rent though if you think you could manage yourself.
As far as toileting incontinence briefs would be the solution.
It is far to risky to try to transfer her from a wheelchair to toilet unless you have the space and enough trained hands to assist you.
The CNA that helps me says you have to weigh things with " benefit VS burden" in mind. Who will benefit from the visit her or you and guests. After even just an hour or so your Mom may be just so exhausted that she will fall asleep. And you do not mention her diagnosis if she has dementia the change in routine as well as having may people and excitement around her may just be too much.
Have people visit her, a few at a time. I am sure that she would love a walk around the grounds where she is but a full day might be just too much.
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DaughterDebbie: You will have to get someone else to do the transfer. Also consider what activities you have planned and the people who will assist.
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