Traveling w/ senior citizens to Ireland

Old May 8th, 2007, 09:53 AM
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Traveling w/ senior citizens to Ireland

Hi

I'm trying to plan a trip to Ireland with my parents, who are in their very late 80's. They will each need a wheelchair at the airports. Aside from the airports, my mother will need a wheelchair to get around (assuming there will be lots of walking) and my father will use his cane.
My mother walks around her normal daily life without a wheelchair but we've learned when traveling it's best if she's in a wheelchair. They both still drive and are young at heart. We've heard it's best to fly into Shannon and out of Dublin. We wanted to go this spring but it's too late now to plan the trip and avoid the summer tourist season.
So it looks like September. Castles will be tough but we don't really care about that. Both of my parents want to see lots of shows at night, they love the irish dancing and my mother wants to see the Waterford factory. Is it difficult to rent a wheelchair in Ireland? Should we bring one with us for my mother? I thought a bus tour would be good that way my father could take a nap if he needed to (although he'll never admit that he takes naps!!) Should we purchase additional medical insurance for the trip? Are any hotels in Ireland wheelchair accessible? Any tips for traveling with senior citizens to Ireland?
Suggestions?
irishfactor is offline  
Old May 8th, 2007, 10:08 AM
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You can rent wheelchairs relatively easily in Ireland
http://www.iwa.ie/mobility/wheelchairSales.asp

If you have any questions just ring the Irish Wheelchair association - they are really helpful.

Most hotels are wheelchair friendly in Ireland.

I'm not sure about the bus tour idea. What about hiring a nice "man with a van" who would drive you around a bit and take care of the wheelchair etc.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 10:32 AM
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irishfactor,

I like lawchicks idea of a" man with a van". My mother took a very nice castle tour when she was in her 80's. The problem arose when she got a slight stomach up-set and had to get on the bus that morning. It would be so much easier and enjoyable for you all if you had a driver and someone to plan your trip with you.

Have a great trip, Joan
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Old May 9th, 2007, 03:53 AM
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irishfactor, From your question I was not sure if you are accompanying your parents or not. If you are going along I don't see why you can't rent a car and go at your own pace. You should check out the prices of renting wheelchairs to determine if you prefer to bring your own. The airlines will check them as baggage.

If your parents are going to Ireland on their own they may prefer a chauffeur-driven tour so they can go at their own pace as opposed to keeping up with a tour group.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 04:13 AM
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I heard on radio just a few days ago that a car hire company with an office in Dublin Airport was offering cars adapted for mobility-impaired people. I did a cursory Google check, and didn't find it. Might this be of interest to you?

Have you given much thought to the coach tour idea? Most tour coaches are high-liners, and are not easy for people with mobility problems to climb into.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 10:03 AM
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There are people who do chauffer trips. One person I lost touch with yrears ago was a hackney (No sign you had to call for them) Nice merc and in spare times he would chauffer some older couples around that were not up to a lot of walking through the country for a week or two at a time. Call a atxi xompany (larger dublin one) and see what they say. National Radio cabs, City cabs are large ones or look up in the www.goldenpages.ie (yellow pages)
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Old May 9th, 2007, 02:50 PM
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As IrishEyes says, if you're going along on this trip, consider renting a car. Your father can still fit in the naps he says he doesn't take <g>.

Here are links to two articles you might find helpful: http://tinyurl.com/365sms and http://tinyurl.com/2slfdd.
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Old May 11th, 2007, 10:31 AM
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Hi

Yes, I would be traveling with my parents. I think the idea of a nice man with a van sounds good. I don't mind driving but I wouldn't know what we're looking at and would need a guide to help with that.

Thanks for all the replies and suggestions, please continue.

Thanks
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Old May 11th, 2007, 10:41 AM
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Hi if either of your parents were planning on doing any driving while there - they likely cannot. Rental agencies have a cut-off age.
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Old May 11th, 2007, 10:48 AM
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Here are a few links which you might find usueful:
http://www.special-ireland.com/irish...uffeurhire.asp

http://www.irelandchauffeurtravel.com/index.html

Hiring a driver means that you can focus on enjoying the trip and banking memories of the time spent with your parents. A hired driver will make sure that you see those things on your list and, as well, if there is time, will show you a few things which should have been on the list. They may even have the availability of wheelchairs.

Slan Beo,

Bit Devine
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Old May 11th, 2007, 11:38 AM
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irishfactor,

Bit gave you a couple of good web-sites. Aren't these great people here?

My Best, Joan
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Old May 13th, 2007, 06:37 AM
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I am going with a slower 71 year old and an 84 year old.

We are hiring a van and driver to pick us up at Shannon and drop us off in Galway where we will stay for the first few nights. The driver will then pick us up in Galway for a few more days and will drop us off in Dublin where we won't need him and spending a few days there on our own before heading back to the US.

By not using the driver for the two larger cities, we saved ALOT of money, but had the driver when we really needed him. We can always take taxi's in the larger cities if needed.

We also used a driver from the area where we will be spending the major portion of our time. So, if you plan on spending most of your time in the south, pick a "local" company from the south.

We are going in July, so will let you know how it all works out.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 06:12 PM
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I've checked out the last two links posted and found them to be very helpful. Great tip about not using a driver in the larger cities, (Shannon and Dublin), that makes alot of sense.
I appreciate everyone's input.
Thanks so much
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Old May 15th, 2007, 02:04 AM
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Once you know where you are headed most towns or areas have a website along with business listings.
I knew I wanted to hire a driver for the day while in Beara and the B&B reccomended the Beara info. website. I found a driver in Kenmare and when he heard we were staying in Glengariff he gave me the number to a local driver there.
Everything worked out perfectly, I explained where we wanted to go and what we wanted to see and he picked us up right at our B&B and drove us around for the entire day. Not only did we see some wonderful sights but in the process learned quite a bit about the area from a local perspective and made a great friend!

If you are looking for a driver out of Kenmare or Glengariff/Bantry area- I have 'em both- and they may even be able to forward you to other reccomendations in various areas, just let me know and I will dig it up for you!
Dawn
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Old May 20th, 2007, 02:29 PM
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I am traveling with two 89 year olds and we have hired a van and driver. We are leaving on Friday for a week and will let you know how everything went when we come back.
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Old May 20th, 2007, 03:07 PM
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Three years ago my hubby and I took my (then) 85 year old dad to Northern Ireland. He also was very agile and totally mentally and physically "with it." (This same trip we also went to Dorset, UK, to visit the area he served during WWII.)

My parents traveled the world in earlier days and my DH and I have also traveled extensively abroad, however...

I researched endlessly to make sure I knew everything we were doing and where we were going, just to ease the "nervous" factor in all of us, because this trip I would need to be more concerned about hills, steps, pop slipping, meals on time, etc. so my concentration would have to be on other than discovering new things daily.

Pop used a wheelchair at all airports, which turned out to be a blessing because we were taken to the front of the boarding lines. No way could he have made it through those long treks though airports. Airport people will wheel them (in fact, they insist) and they're great. Just be sure to tip them nicely.

We rented a car. It was truly and absolutely the best thing we did! It gave us the freedom of going back to the cottage we rented (or hotel, epending on the portion of the trip) when he had had enough. We could stop when we wanted to use a restroom or have a warm cup of coffee (this was in November). We had the best time just rambling through towns and villages o our own. Just the freedom of it was wonderful. Not using a driver, but doing it ourselves, we could (and did) also easily skip days that dad wasn't up to touring. He'd stay back in his room and read (or take the naps that he also "doesn't" take)and DH and I would take off for a few hours. A bus tour might be too confining for them.

You will have a wonderful time if you just take it easy and don't set your sites on seeing/doing too much--and it sounds like you already have planned it well.

I hope you have a fabulous trip. My dad has passed away and I miss him every day, but I am happy beyond measure that we had this trip together.
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