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My daughter is encouraging me to lease a wheelchair accessible minivan so I can go out and have some freedom. Have been caring for my wife at home with ALZ for several years. Hard to think this way, but I don't know how long I will be able to take her out in a wheelchair. Any thoughts from someone who has been in this same boat would be helpful.

I think that hiring an aide a couple days a week to come sit with your wife while you get out would actually be more beneficial for your wellbeing.

You matter as much as your wife and you deserve to go out and do things that enhance your life without having to be a caregiver while you are doing it.

You can contact the local department of transportation and find out if they have paratransit services and this could be the solution for taking your wife out in the wheelchair. It is super cost effective and they will take you any place you want to go and take you home.

God bless you for taking care of your wife, she is blessed to have you.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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If you wife is stage 7b-d, I don't think you have two or three years to go out and about in a van.

My mother is terrified in a vehicle now (7e), and has been for a long time. She's taken three ambulance rides in the past two weeks, so she's a wreck now.

You need respite care, so I'd suggest you get someone in to help out so you can get out of the house. I can't imagine taking an Alzheimer's patient of many years out in a wheelchair would be a relaxing proposition.
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Reply to MJ1929
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Have you driven a minivan before and enjoyed it? Would taking her out like that be something both of you would enjoy? Would it give you a sense of freedom?

There are a variety of vans and wheelchair lifts. Do you have any experience with any of them?

I would suggest a few short term rentals to confirm what you like and don't like. It may turn out that four rentals are more than enough minivan for you.

I am generally not in favor of leasing. Leases are best for business use with a good match of usage to contracted mileage. Post-Covid, would you enjoy using the van to drive for volunteer work or Uber while an aide stays with your wife? Or bring her along for some kind of delivery dropoffs (food bank or Doordash)? If you have multiple uses that can help you use up your miles, with or without her presence in the vehicle, it might make more sense.
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Reply to Frebrowser
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Isthisrealyreal Jan 2, 2021
What a great idea about providing rides for wheelchair bound people.
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If you literally have money to throw around, then this is not a bad suggestion. Throwing some at a wheel chair van would help the economy.
HOWEVER, I would ask you to think of your wife's condition over all. How easily can you care for her on one of these rides to somewhere? How often would you use it. And how likely are you to be able to continue caring for your wife over the next 2 to 3 years. I think what I am hearing here is that you are coming face to face with your limitations. I think the thinking that is needed here goes beyond needs of a wheelchair van you don't feel especially adept still to handle.
Consider sitting your daughter down and telling her just that. Tell her that your wife may need placement in the coming near future, because her care is now too difficult for you to do inhome. Often our kids unconsciously hate to see ALF money going out on care. They feel that that 5,000 a month would be better kept in the family. Meaning for your future and for their own. I would first examine your own thoughts and physical means now. Covid is no time for placement if you don't wish to do it, but it does provide space for thinking, for considering how long you can go on this way.
Wishing you so much good luck.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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Not exactly the same situation here as I care for my paralyzed father without dementia, but we love going places in our wheelchair accessible van. It is great to just roll him up in the back and hit the road, even just for a drive around town.

My dad purchased the van, used, from MobilityWorks before leaving spinal cord injury rehab 4 years ago and we’ve been very happy with it.

Definitely worth looking into if it could make things easier and maybe a bit more fun for the two of you. More freedom and convenience too just for your sake I’m sure would be a great thing.

Best to you.
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Reply to SnoopyLove
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Have you investigated other options locally? In my community cab companies have wheel chair accessible cabs. We have a service called Handi-Dart that is run by our public transit that has wheelchair accessible busses to get people to and from appointments and shopping.

I do not know how it works in the US, but in Canada there are tax benefits when purchasing a wheel chair accessible vehicle, I am not sure if they apply to a lease.

Other options are to hire aides to stay with your wife at home so you can get out on your own.
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Reply to Tothill
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