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Why Do I Feel Like I'm In This Alone??


srademacher

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When we moved to Arizona four years ago, I thought we were going to have a nice small house in a quiet suburb with a pool in the back yard, where I could get out and swim while Gary napped. Because of tightened banking regulations after the Wall Street disaster, I couldn't sign for the loan using Gary's Power of Attorney, so the whole deal fell through. As a result, we ended up having to find something we could pay cash for and get into quick, after being cramped in a small hotel room with limited handicap accommodations. Our son, Dan, found this place for us in a senior mobile home park located at the edge of Scottsdale, near the Tempe/Mesa borders. It's close to everything, and most days if I have to get out for anything, I don't have to drive more than a couple miles in any direction. We were told everything here was handicap accessible, but their idea of accessible meant we didn't have to go up any steps to get to anything. The bathrooms at the clubhouse and pool buildings may have grab bars and slightly larger stalls, but they are not accessible for someone in a wheelchair who can't stand up and walk into the stall and definitely there is no "Family" bathroom that I could go into with Gary to help him, and he can't transfer to a toilet without assistance or even hold a urinal by himself - so bathroom access for us in the park facilities is nonexistent.

 

We have managed to attend some of the Friday night socials, as long as we could get there early enough to get a corner table just inside the door. That way if Gary had to go to the bathroom, we could get him out quick and rush home to use our own bathroom. On nights that the corner tables were already taken, we left much earlier and had to work our way through a crowded dance floor to get to the exit and make sure we got him home in time. Even after the park did some "fixing up" or what they called remodeling, nothing changed as far as accessibility. They don't want to spend the money for something like that, same as when they resurfaced both pools but didn't bother to redo the steps to make it easier for elderly with arthritis to get in and out of the pool, let alone add a lift for someone in a wheelchair to access the pool. Yet, every year they raise our lot rent.

 

With the return of our winter residents, new rules are now in place. Supposedly because they had to purchase a liquor license in order to have the bar at the socials, I am no longer going to be allowed to bring Gary's thickened juice in to the dinners with us. I will have to buy his cranberry juice and bottled water there, sit at the table and mix the thickener in it (which is much easier to mix at home over the sink because it's messy), and then it's questionable whether I will be able to pour it into his sippy bottle for him to be able to use himself, instead of me having to hold a cup for him (with his lack of motor control with his "good" hand). I've taken his thickened juice through airport security and not had a problem, into restaurants that serve liquor and not had a problem, but now our local clubhouse social will be making it a problem. Maybe it's their way of saying "we're not welcome there." I'm thinking maybe we should go where we don't have that problem, but it's frustrating knowing how much lot rent we pay here and that we can't have the accommodations we need right here in our own park. Some days it's just not worth the fight!

 

I guess we'll start looking for better things to do with our Friday nights!

 

 

Sarah

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Sounds like discrimination to me.  See if you can get someone to check out the Liquor Licencing laws, surely they don't apply to thickened juices. Do you have a lawyer close by who would check it out for you pro bono (free). Some lawyers just love to get their teeth into discrimination cases.

 

Or find an alternative for Friday nights and maybe make new friends.

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What Sue said but also, I'd be writing to the management committee or if possible attend their meetings.  Make sure the people doing the planning know what issues they are creating for you.  You pay the fees you should have some say in what's done with them.  I have joined the management committee for my building and it meant I got a real say in how our pool was remodeled.  Thankfully I'm not in a wheelchair so what works for me also makes our pool more accessible for other (older) residents.  We chose not to put in a lift due to the ongoing costs, and limited space in an existing pool building.  The contractors have appreciated having me available to test step and handrail setups too. mostly these things are academic for them until someone with a real need comes along.

 

Also because I mentioned it in committee meetings, we now have an automatic door on our street front and mail room, which helps people like me but also mum's with prams etc.

 

I've found it's not that they want to be difficult it's that without a frame of reference they don't see things that we do.

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i think Sue and Heather have said everything but I do hope that you can find a better answer to your needs there. My best wishes and support. 

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Isn't there something legally you can do? It sounds as they aren't following the mandated laws that require handicap accessible access. I agree with Sue. If you paid for it ,  I mean eggheads  

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I was shaking my head as I was reading your blog.  I agree with everything that has been said. it does seem like you are been  short change, and go see if there is any thing legal you can do. Where we live , I made  sure and join the neighbour watch, and home ass. I like to give my views, and know with what is going on. Plus we paid to live there, so we should be happy.

 

Wishing you well

 

Yvonne

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I hate it when it is not what is expected.

I spent time in a wheelchair and went all over our mod city and the accessibility is horrible Terrible.

ADA is not enough. Bathrooms are no good for ANYONE who are not in for a pop in and out. I still cannot drive a store scooter in to the bathroom. Like they think magic magic just walk to the toilet. I hit displays and run out of battery in the back of the store. Once we got stuck on trolley tracks when using public transport. My rental was no way for my disability. Luckily Gary has you protecting buffering and sharing all along the way. I wish I had a you. You are divine. Get recharged, complain, am

nd keep on. Maaybe someday ADA will be better.

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We will always be with you at least in spirit thoughts and prayers.its not only sad. It's wrong.

They need to adhere to the ADA.

 

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Sarah,

I am so sorry to hear your plight. Wheelchair accessability is a problem. I cannot believe that you do not have a lift for pool access. Hopefully you get to swim when you want. It is hard to get out and about with the wheelchair. We have to teach everybody about our lives.

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