Author Topic: PP from a disabled persons view!  (Read 684 times)

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PP from a disabled persons view!
« on: July 27, 2016, 16:55:44 PM »
I thought I would share my recent experience bringing my disabled Mum to Puerto Pollensa. Actually I had my 8 year old grandson with me too so the two extremes! Whilst being aware of the strong feelings relating to various issues along the front I am writing this as a positive post in the hope that it will help others. I think also it is important to state that we have owned in Pollensa for 18 years so my mother has visited many many times as an able walker to now as a wheelchair user. Mum took her own wheelchair but for those in need I believe Multi-hire can help with renting one. Also while there I did pop in to the charity shop and guess what was for sale? - yep a wheelchair!

Firstly we booked our flights requesting special assistance with Easyjet. I can highly recommend as they went out of their way to be as helpful and respectful as possible. I mention the word respectful as we are living in a time of much higher security. My mother had to be checked as thoroughly as anyone else and rightly so but this was done in a very helpful and professional way both leaving and returning to the UK. As I was alone with just my Mum and grandson, I felt quite apprehensive and somewhat nervous of how I might cope but they helped take the worry. This was the first step which really could influence my mother ever feeling able to travel again. I need not have worried as all was good.

I obviously know my villa and so having had a downstairs bedroom and new bathroom installed knew that all would be ok there. I hired a car ensuring I specified one able to accommodate a wheelchair. Ok often we are upgraded with Click and rent but this time I was unable to take the risk. A fiat 500 would not take a wheelchair so paying the extra to ensure an adequate car was important. No hanging around in queues either as the car is collected and returned at the carpark.

Now as I said this is a positive post. I happen to like the look of the new front and found the wide pavements so much easier to push Mum. Access to shops was difficult but then I knew it would be. Shops need to make their money in a short season by placing as much as they can where people will walk and see so I understand that. Yes there were slopes but they were not ideal for pushing the weight of a lady plus the chair in very hot weather but at least an effort had been made which i'm sure will be improved over time. I'm aware that a few months ago this wasn't the case and there was a demonstration along the front to bring the problem to the notice of the council. Access to the beach near Pinaret was brilliant. They have toilets including disabled I believe plus special adapted chairs to make easier movement for the disabled. They of course have the slopes to leading towards the sea. Now they have the sun beds and shades this area could not be faulted. It allows those with a disability young or old the ability to do 'normal' beachy things. A guard is also taking note of all around him.

As far as we were concerned i'm afraid one road back and onwards was a complete disaster however. Pavements are narrow to be expected but there are very very few slopes in the pavements to allow any form of crossing. In some areas a tiny effort had been made by making the pavement kerb a couple of inches smaller in height but there was still a kerb to be lifted over. This was frankly exhausting! Many kind people stopped to help me lift my mum in her chair onto the pavement which was so appreciated. My Mum is a proud lady of 89. She felt a little awkward putting people to trouble as she put it. We actually crossed at the zebra crossing. A police car stopped to allow us to cross. I was so surprised to find on reaching the other side of the road I had a kerb to climb - by a zebra crossing!! The policeman actually got out of his car to help me lift! I sincerely hope the council do look into this as this is so important to the disabled as well as anyone pushing a wheelchair. Maybe Mums with pushchairs have problems too.

Restaurants again went out of their way to help. My Mum is able to walk a few yards so often they would help my mother and then take her chair to a place of safety. They would ensure that the chair was in place on our departure and help me on my way. Not one we visited didn't try their best to help. I was extremely grateful to them all.

On the visit I'm afraid we had just one awful experience. A local lady ( I have seen her many times and I know she is local) pushed me out of the way in the market as I was pushing my Mum. She literally pushed me. I was not amused and asked her if she thought her behaviour was acceptable. She then kicked the chair. I'm afraid I was very angry as were others who witnessed what had happened. Ok we do not know why this women behaved as she did. She may herself be unwell or maybe was just in a hurry but this was upsetting. She knew what she did as a man told her in his own words what he though of her. An apology may have been enough for us to forget this incident but i'm afraid the negative is stronger than the positive and Mum still refers to it.

All in all a great holiday making wonderful memories for my mum. I tried to keep to the front as best I could as I was aware of the problems 'one road back'. I hope at sometime they can be addressed which would make Puerto Pollensa a wonderful place to holiday for those able bodied as well as the not so abled. We had a great time - I will get the local lady later!! lol

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.