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Enjoying a Florida Villa Holiday with an Older Person
We were excited, but quite concerned about taking my 85 year old mother to share our Florida home, but now we know what is possible we will do it again with confidence. We are therefore happy to share our information with others.
To start it is essential to get the GPs advice that the person is fit to travel. Then there is the expense of medical insurance. We shopped around and found that Age Concern gave us a reasonable deal.
First let the airline know that you are travelling with someone who needs assistance. You can then collect a wheelchair for the queue to check in. There is no point in an older person wearing themselves out before they start. We took the wheelchair through customs but we had help in boarding as there was quite a slope on the ramp to the aircraft. We pre-boarded so had time to settle down before the rest of the passengers arrived.
At the other end we were last off the plane but a wheelchair was waiting and, with my mother, we were taken to the front of the immigration queue and through the airline staff channel. The Immigration Officer was really friendly!
We had taken my mother’s blue ‘disabled’ badge with us and although we knew we should really have gone to the Sheriff’s office to get an American one, we found that we were given stickers for the disabled area in all the theme park car parks. Even though my mother can and does walk at home she acknowledged that she could not have coped with the walking involved in sight-seeing in any of the theme parks. We thought that Sea World was ideal because of the number of shows.
We were treated with courtesy everywhere we went.
For the return journey we thought that the £10 a person we spent on the Guest House at Sanford Airport was well worth it as it meant that she could sit in a comfortable chair while we waited. As our flight was delayed this was more important. We had access to free tea, coffee, biscuits and cold drinks as well as two alcoholic drinks per person so it did not really work out any more expensive than waiting in the departure lounge.
In summary we all had a wonderful holiday and unless there are real health concerns before the trip there is no reason why an older person should not enjoy themselves to the full, especially when staying in a home from home.
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