Thursday, July 31, 2008

caregiving: an evening at the races

Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course is surprisingly not wheelchair friendly. 

Arriving I followed signs to “accessible van parking”.  Spaces designed with adjacent area blocked out for ramps or lifts to deploy. However, every space was occupied by a regular passenger car. … Instead we cruised the parking garage looking for an end space on an aisle to deploy the ramp. 

Doors from outside to inside whether off the parking garage or to the casino display a wheelchair access sign but we could find NO controls. An unattended person in a wheelchair would be hard pressed to open and enter outward swinging doors.

Beware! There is a crisis in South Central Pennsylvania with people moving furniture. Every chair in front of a slot machine was bolted to the floor. Management must assume people only use wheelchairs or scooters for convenience not necessity.

Yes, you can find a manager who can direct you to a security officer who can contact a security supervisor who can contact a maintenance engineer who can unbolt and remove the fixed chair to allow wheelchair access. That took 20 minutes on a non-busy Wednesday evening.

I believe I dead-lifted transferred Patti half a dozen times in and out of her wheelchair to a bolted chair to check out machines before choosing one. Everything from color contrast to height or slope of machine face can affect Patti's MS related visual challenges.              

Pictured are Patti, her Mom, and top of her Dad's head enjoying the ‘chosen’ slot machine.

A highlight was Penn National Race Course adjacent to the Hollywood Casino. Literally roll out the casino door and you are at the track.

Patti’s wheelchair could basically park at the rail. Between proximity and the size of a horse and rider it was visually impaired friendly entertainment.

Washed by an earlier summer thunderstorm the evening could not have been more beautiful. 

Never confuse accessibility challenges with a good or bad time. Caregivers, family, and friends can usually overcome obstacles.

Good times are CREATED from time spent together. 

Caregivingly Yours, J Patrick Leer


  1. sounds like a fun event!!! always enjoy a little casino here and there! what surprises me is how not wheelchair friendly the place seemed to be; you would think some of their cliente would be older people in need of the help of a wheelchair or scooter for mobility; looks like nice and nice place

    now, this gives me an excuse to check out some of our local casinos run by our friendly Native Americans to see what their accommodations are; anything in the way of research :)

    (sounds like a nice time :)


  2. Great shot there on the bottom!! Numbers are CLEAR! <grin> Did you win any money??

    I bet Patti enjoyed that outting... sounds like a fun day!


  3. what fun:) did you guys win anything?


  4. Great pics........

    You are not one for letting obstacles.....big or small....get in your way!!

    Kudos to you for CREATING as much FUN as you can!!


  5. ((((((((((((HUGSTOYOU)))))))))))))))))))I give you a 100 for doing what you needed to do for Patti,for making Her have a good time.They should have easy chairs for people who are in wheel chairs.


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