Accessible Travel for the Elderly

Accessible Travel
accessible travel

Caregiver, your loved one is now confined to a wheelchair. He or she may have had a previous life that included cruises to the Bahamas and cross country air travel to visit the grandkids. Fortunately, the the American with Disabilities Act and the Civil Rights Act ensures that disability does not preclude accessible travel on planes, trains, ships or automobiles.

Adaptive Shops addresses web caring solutions for accessible travel for the elderly or disabled.

One of the best sources of information for accessible travel that you as caregivers may have is the Division of Transportation website. This information is important for those caregivers who arrange transportation for their loved ones. For example, after just a few minutes perusing the website we learned that –

If the carrier decides an individual may be unable to complete the flight safely, they may require a medical clearance.

Airlines are not required to provide in flight emergency medical assistance to passengers.

If carriers website is not accessible to individuals with visual impairments, they must provide discounted web fares when the person appears in person to purchase a ticket (web fare discounts).

The following websites and organizations have information on accessible travel for the elderly and disabled.

Disability travel has created an interesting website geared to making to world accessible travel to slow walkers and wheelchair travelers. It focuses on group and independent travel, with emphasis on accessible accommodations. Personal care attendants are available. This site has a newsletter and an online travel equipment store. We would like to get feedback from you about this site. More information about disability travel…

Society for Accessible Travel and Hospitality, SATH, is a nonprofit organization to aid the needs of travelers with disabilities. This website provides links to accessibility resources including disability travel websites, disability magazines and accessibility lodging and resorts. They also provide access information for airlines. You can join the organization online. More information…

This Greyhound website provides information about traveling with a disability, and offers discounted Society for Accessible Travel and Hospitality, SATH, is a nonprofit organization to aid the needs of travelers with disabilities. This website provides links to accessibility resources including disability travel websites, disability magazines and accessibility lodging and resorts. They also provide access information rates for personal care attendants. 48 hour notification is required prior to travel. More information… has information on accessible transportation for air, bus, train or car and also provides the ADA guidelines for each mode of transportation. It also provides a link to a traveler’s database and the National Center on Senior Transportation search based on the city and state that you provide

Books and Magazines

Eldercare for Dummies mentions a ‘city pass ‘ which offers 50% discounted tickets to major attractions in 10 major cities. More information…Access Travel magazine is comprehensive and offers ‘travel information for the wheelchair user and slow walker’ and is advertisement free. There is an ‘ask the expert section’ – for example, use of a hoya lift on a cruise ship – was recently featured. It explores different travel locations from the perspective of those individuals requiring accessible travel arrangements. You can subscribe online and in print. More information about access travel magazine…

You may be traveling with extra equipment, wheelchairs and other mobility equipment, medications, etc. Check out great organization tools such as travel wallets and portable adaptive devices which promote safety for the disabled traveler.

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Air travel

Aviation Consumer Protection Division of the Division of Transportation has a toll free disability hotline, which offers information about rights for the disabled who are traveling and links to paper and web complaint options. More information… Thorough details for air consumers are described in the frequently asked questions. More information…

elderly traveler with drink
These sites offer information about accessible cruises and also have photographs of modified ship cabins.

Accessible services on Carnival Cruise – mobility devices available, types of staterooms, and all information needed to plan a cruise. More information…

At this Holland America website, handicap accessibility on a Holland America cruise ship is described in detail. More information…

This company, Wheelchair Getaways, offers accessible wheelchair and scooter van rentals with ramps and lifts in most cities. Click on the site for state listings and locations. More information…

Local travel
The American with Disabilities act of 1990 requires that transportation services be made accessible to people with disabilities. For those who are unable to use regular public transportations, states have paratransit options available in the form of vans, taxis, sedans or small buses In many cities, private contractors, under contract to private agencies, provide services for the disabled. Some requirements for public accessible travel include buses and trains with wheelchair lifts, priority seating, as well and drivers who will assist the disabled.

An example of a paratransit system can be found in New York. Their program is called Access a Ride. It operates 24/7, including holidays and provides door to door service. Customers may be accompanied by their home attendant. Application involves evaluation at an assessment center with a face to face interview with a healthcare professional. Recertification is required every five years except for those individuals whose conditions are expected to worsen and who cannot use regular bus or train services under any condition. Information on this New York Access a Ride service can be found at this site. Check for similar paratransit services in your state.

Equipment rental

Accessible travel sites offer rental accessible vans, wheelchairs , electric scooters, lifts, and other types of mobility equipment. They also deliver medical equipment, transfer boards and travel ramps. We have no recommendations for any of these sites but recommend that you
check with the Better Business Bureau regarding the rating, licensing, and consumer complaint history of companies providing transportation services for your elderly or handicapped loved one.