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Can Mom Handle a Music Festival at Her Age?

 

Question

"It’s festival season and my mom has never been to one. She’s in her 90s now and I think she might enjoy seeing all the people.

Mom walks but isn’t the steadiest on her feet anymore. I worry that someone will knock her over accidentally. Do I rent a wheelchair and tell her that’s her only option? Or do I simply look for other ways to entertain her?"

 

Answer

You sound like a creative and adventurous soul who’s looking for new ways to share the fun with mom.

Before jumping in and taking her to a huge music festival, I recommend you do a little research on the parking, transportation, ground surfaces, restroom, and eating facilities. I will make suggestions for each of those areas.

  • Parking - Most 90-year-olds have limited capacity to walk any distance. If she doesn’t already have a handicap parking sign, she may qualify for one. Check that out. I find it makes quite a difference when transporting someone who uses a wheelchair or walker. The wider and closer spaces are essential when a device is involved. The sign hangs on the rear-view mirror and can be used in any car she’s in.
  • Transportation - When it comes to transportation, I’m referring to moving Mom about in crowds and over distances. I strongly recommend a wheelchair in the trunk, just in case. Maybe just borrow one from a friend or rent one if need be. Most her age can’t hoof it all the way. Even just holding on to the wheelchair when she walks or being able to have a seat whenever makes a difference. If she tires, you can run back to the car to retrieve it when needed, as another option.
  • Ground Surfaces - This may be the most important aspect of your decision making. Some venues are paved and wonderfully accessible. In smaller towns, you may be dealing with grass or gravel, which are much less even surfaces. What may not be a challenge for you when walking may be difficult or even dangerous for your mother.
  • Restroom - Do check out the facilities in advance. Accessibility in restrooms is generally the norm these days, though I would make sure.
  • Dining - Factor in how food might be consumed if that is in your plan. I recommend a few packages of wipes in your pockets as festival eating can be messy. Wash-and-wear clothing is essential.

All in all, you’re planning some fun for your elderly mother. If you simply check out a few things in advance, you should be fine. Prepare yourself for a short visit based on her tolerance and enjoy whatever comes. 

 

About this Post

Written By

Mary Haynor

President & CEO Emeritus / RN

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