Saturday, June 27, 2009

caregiving: making an entrance

Challenge? Or obstacle? The answer is not exactly in the proverbial eye of the beholder, but often in the resources, ingenuity and strength of the caregiver.

For reasons that never quite make sense, live music in intimate settings seems to bring the best out in Patti. I stare in amazement as she handles food and beverages with better dexterity than normal. Last night it was 9 PM before she asked about going to bed, almost 90 minutes later than her norm.

Yes, some outings are harder on a caregiver. Yet, when the pluses outweigh the challenges you go for it!

Before visiting historic Eckels’ Ice Cream Parlor our first time, I did my caregiver walk-through in advance. Oh yeah! This would be a challenge and a half. Three short wide front steps to a double door should have been relatively easy except unfortunately for us they are divided by a center hand rail creating two sets of steps too narrow for a wheel chair. Alternative side door has a single step but with a peak height over 24” due to slope of adjacent alley.

Positioning Patti’s rear wheels against the step and reclining her back to almost prone position I could use the shifting of her weight to facilitate pulling her chair up and over the step.

As Patti laughingly remarked, we do know how to make an entrance. Banging and bumping her chair around though furniture in the quaintly decorated interior we eventually got her all set up at a table to enjoy our friends “The Buc Hill Aces” perform.

As you might guess from the video, Eckels' is MORE than just another ice cream parlor.

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer
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musings: Patrick Ponders ...


  1. sounded like a great adventure Patrick! I would think such a place would have to be ADA compliant? fantastic entertainment and ice cream! what a wonderful way to spend some time together :)


  2. Patrick - interesting that you take Patti up steps backwards in her manual chair. Back in the day when Skip used a manual chair, I never tried that. Just could handle a step or two with her facing forward; used a portable ramp otherwise. Wish I'd thought of it then.

    Of course, now, with a 300 lb Permobil power chair, that is no longer an option. :-)

    Sounds like the evening was great for Patti. Glad you have the creativity and strength to get her into the ice cream parlor.

  3. The whole "Grand Entrance" aspect of life in a wheelchair has been a really hard adjustment for BR. Even though his chair has a stair mode, he is loath to use it -- too much attention.


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