Mom has been in the same nursing home/rehab center since July 2014. She went in with a broken hip. They did some therapy, but it was halted because they said it was not "progressing". She also has diabetes and arthritis, especially in her knees.
Basically she is unable to walk, she needs assistance going to the bathroom, getting out of bed, etc.
A few months ago she suffered a minor stroke. She could not talk or move for 6 days. 2 weeks later she suffered a small heart attack. About a week after that, the staff at the nursing facility weren't doing there job, and mom fell on the side of her head. Despite all that, she is still living, but barely.
I try to visit her often, but it's taking its toll on me. Trying to get her outside is hard enough, but recently I tried to get her in my vehicle, but I could not do so.
She's tired of just sitting in her wheelchair all day long, and I can't blame her. The facility does not provide any trips from the facility, nor will they let the county provide transportation. So I am trying to figure out how I can get her out, just for a few hours if need be.
I do not have money for a handicapped equipped vehicle, which would be ideal.
Does anyone have any other suggestions as how I can get my mother into some type of vehicle so she can get away from her "prison", even for just a few hours?
Thank you so much for any help!

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Beware of "I want....." in caregiving. Those are red flag words and I watch for them in my own talk.

My comment is to think long and hard about why you feel so strongly that she has to go outside regardless of the risk. Is it to just prove you or she can do it?
How worn out is she going to be after all that effort? What will it take for her to recuperate from that? It's not about what we want. It's about risk, reward, and safety.

Those of us farther down the road than you are have gone through these struggles ourselves, and there comes a day when you have to just embrace what is worth putting effort into or not. There are no shortage of stories from people on this board who went to the Nth degree to get mom out & about, only to have it blow up in their faces.

It is incredibly difficult to see our parent decline. There is no prep-class for it. There's no after-school special to watch. Nothing to help us be ready when the time comes for what we are going to see, hear, and feel.

Be creative and think about other choices that might be more possible.
Youtube videos were a great source of entertainment for my mom before her vision went so bad. Google maps has street view and you can literally go almost anywhere in the world that way. Looking at postcards. Videos.

My mother is bed-bound full time now, and all I can do is crack the window in her room, make sure the curtains are open and just do things that she might enjoy, for the period of time it lasts and not have any expectations about anything anymore.
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SonofMom, be careful voicing any negativity regarding the continuing care in front of your Mom.... thus if you're unhappy with the place, she will be, too... and may refuse to try to be part of the community, to participate with the activities or even do rehab. Some elders think if they pout long and hard enough, they can go home.
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Thanks to all who answered. It is really appreciated.
First off, my mother is 79 years old. As of late, her mental condition has been worsening. She is part to blame, but much of it goes to lack of care in the nursing home/rehab center as management seems interested more in money than in caring. Unfortunately they were rated highly by both Medicare and other reviewers, so taking her elsewhere may help, or may actually make things worse.
I have given much thought to her needs, especially when it comes to using the bathroom. She has a control problem, and she goes when she needs to. It can happen fast and quick. She is wearing "diapers", but obviously she needs changing. Medication is also very much an issue. If/when I can take her out, it will be for no more than a few hours.
I have taken her outside at her facility when I can, but I work so much, I simply can't take her out as much as I want.
But I do want to just take her for a drive, not even far, just so she could see some sights. When I drive, I see all the scenery, the sunsets, the stars at night, all the stuff we take for granted, and I just want her to see it.
Laws and rules make this nearly impossible for Mom, which is why I'm seeking help. I've searched around, and it's expensive to hire a handicapped vehicle. $140 for 4 hours is the cheapest I've found in my area, so that's not an option.
Gardenartist has some good ideas for transportation and I will pursue some of these.
Thanks again to all those who replied and God bless.
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SonofMom, may I ask how old is your mother? I can full understand you wanting to get her outside for some fresh air and a change of scenery but it comes a time where it would be a huge risk to try to do it yourself. And like others had said, what about bathroom needs, even if Mom is wearing Depends, they will need changing numerous times during the day.

With my own Mom who is 98, and a meer 80 lbs if that, it takes two Aides to move her carefully from her bed into her Geri Reclinder where they take her to the nurses station just for a change of scenery and to keep an eye on her, as she is a climber out of a chair/bed risk... thus will and has fallen numerous times. But it was a fall at home with Dad in the same room that caused my Mom to be where she is today. Believe me, an elder can be in a room filled with nursing staff and they will find someway to fall in an instant.
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DIL makes a good point about toileting; you might want to ensure that any out of facility visits are short, or that if you have a specific destination, there are handicapped facilities available. The question would be though whether your mother could use them by herself.
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My father made 2 transfer boards for Mom when she was rehabbing from her fractured leg. (He's always been a very skilled woodworker.) Whether your mom could use one depends on whether she is able to slide from the wheelchair (with the left arm removed) onto the board and then scoot into the car. It can be done safely w/o standing, by moving the wheelchair as close as possible to the passenger side door.

Since Dad is a skilled woodworker, he made his boards, but you could probably find some to buy at a DME store. Dad double sanded and sealed his so there wouldn't be any slivers or anything to catch and tear Mom's clothes or skin.

There's another option and that's to hire a dial-a-ride, or mini bus, or other direct point to point transit service. In MD, I suspect there are some good public transit systems which do have this service. Did a quick check; you can follow up on this link:

•Call-A-Lift (6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.) 410-682-5438
•Certification for seniors & people with disabilities: (410) 767-3441
•Mobility/Paratransit: (410) 727-3535

Site also states that those with disabilities have the option of using lift-equipped services (generally the wheelchair is pushed onto a lift, which raises and places the wheelchair with passenger in it directly in the bus. Then the wheelchair is strapped down for security and safety.

Call-A-Lift is available on bus routes without such scheduled buses, which may or may not apply to the facility where your mother is.

"Mobility" is a van and taxi service for those who cannot use MTA buses. ...according to the website.

I'd check these out. Although I don't know for sure, I do believe that the drivers of these buses know how to work with people of limited mobility more so than the linehaul buses. In my experience as well, the linehaul lifts for wheelchairs don't always operate properly, and there's generally not as much room, comfort or privacy on the linehauls as there is on the small buses.

With point to point service, you could take your mother to a museum, show, shopping, even to one of the stores that soon will be decorated for Christmas. I would ask her where she'd like to do and what she'd like to see, then plan events for perhaps once a week, as you don't want to tire her out.

Ask when you call what rates are; in my area, it's $1.00 one way anywhere in a 10 mile radius. Can't beat that!

Another thing I would check out has nothing to do with mobility, but rather depression, and that's pet and music therapy in the facility.

We're getting into the season when some churches also provide free concerts; that's another possibility for a trip (but take extra blankets - churches can get cold).

I would take issue though with the facility's conclusion that she wasn't progressing. I'm not a medical person, but I firmly believe that people can benefit from even a little bit of therapy. Sometimes it's the way the therapists approach the issue.

Dmanbro is another poster who's gone through hell with the facility his mother is in. If you have time, you might want to read his post on the journeys he's had with his mother. This is a long, evolving post, but sections of it do address the difficulties he had with the facility and their attitude toward PT.

You also might want to check around and see if you can find another place that's more aggressive in addressing post stroke and post cardiac events.

My father had PT after both, over 20 years ago. He had cadiac therapy at the hospital where we've gone for years. As I recall, he had some limited speech therapy after his stroke.

Also check out local hospitals to see if they stroke and heart attack support groups. Even if your mother doesn't go, it could help you; at least you'd be able to get ideas from others what resources they've found and used.

Good luck!
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Nursing homes and rehab centers are two different things from the intake/discharge perspective. Your mom is very frail and would now be considered a resident of the nursing home because inpatient rehab wasn't efficacious.

Has she not gotten any fresh air at all? Does the nursing home have a veranda or area where you can sit with your mom and get fresh air?? Does her room have a window that opens?

Getting someone as frail as you describe your mom to be into a vehicle is no easy task. And if you did get her in a car what would you do with her because it sounds like she is a fall risk.

However, there are private services that do have wheelchair-equipped vehicles that you can hire for a day or half-day. Make an appointment with the social worker at the facility and ask them about these vans, how much they cost, and what you need to do in order to take your mom out for the day.

Some words of caution: you may not be able to handle your mother alone. Do you have any friends or family who can help you accomplish this? You have to consider her toileting needs or you will literally have a huge mess on your hands. I'm just speaking from personal experience having traveled many times with my MIL who is in a wheelchair and cannot walk.

Your intentions are good so now it's time to figure out the details. I wish you lots of luck! - NYDIL
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I'm hoping others here will have some good advice on transfer boards and the like. After your mom came from her hospital after her stroke, was she able to get more PT? Is she motivated to become more mobile?
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