Power wheelchair / scooter rental: pros, cons?

Posted by lofturthunk @lofturthunk, Jan 23, 2018

(Me again!) With the pace of my appointments at Mayo and my fatigue level, I’m wondering if I should think about renting a powerchair or scooter in Rochester. I read someone’s blog post who that she’d found it very helpful, but I think she traveled there in spring or summer and I’ll be there in the winter, and I don’t know how wheels-friendly MN winter weather is. I have a scooter at home, but the process of disassembling it and reassembling it every time we need to get in a car has become too much for me and my mum, so I mostly use it on public transit and around the neighborhood. (Tbh since it doesn’t have a tilt function using it can be pretty tiring too.) I know Mayo has free manuals to use in the buildings, but I like having a degree of independence and pushing me around all day is very tiring for my mum. On the other hand, the power chairs that I saw on all the rental sites aren’t that great either — some of them fold or disassemble, but they’re still heavy af, and the ones that look like they might be slightly less exhausting to use can’t be folded or disassembled at all.

Does anyone have any experience with this?

Liked by Jamie Olson

First are you aware of the system of walkable corridors, under street level? scooters/power chairs are welcome and usable there. You can rent one in the subway level, just down from cafeteria.

REPLY

@lofturthunk, Thank you for starting this discussion- it’s going to be helpful for future Mayo Clinic patients that visit Mayo Clinic Connect for infomation.

Mayo offers an escort system free of charge to patients- When you arrive at Mayo your first stop will either be the front entryway at the Gonda Building or the entrance in the subway level from the parking ramp. Both doors have general service attendants that will call for an escort to take you to your first destination. When ready to leave your first appointment, simply let any desk know that you will need someone to take your to your next appointment and so on. If needed, the same services apply to your Mom if she is planning to travel with you.

I hope that helps! 🙂

REPLY

@lofturthunk,
My only experience is with the manual wheelchair. When the transport shuttle arrived at the Gonda entryway, the driver signaled for a wheelchair, and the attendant immediately had one for me. My husband pushed it most of the time. Occasionally, when he was not available, I needed an escort to push it, and that worked well, and even took me to different appointments. I don’t know if that is any help, but that is my only experience. He is a fit healthy person, and my wheelchair need was only during my illness.

There is help and assistance available whenever you need it. You just have to let someone know.

I want to add , also, that the escorts know exactly how navigate around the Mayo complex. With your fatigue, that is something that I encourage you to consider.
Rosemary

Liked by lofturthunk

REPLY
@waterboy

First are you aware of the system of walkable corridors, under street level? scooters/power chairs are welcome and usable there. You can rent one in the subway level, just down from cafeteria.

Jump to this post

More that I don’t necessarily want to just go around the hospital and my hotel and that’s it (although it does seem like there aren’t a lot of things in Rochester that aren’t the hospital or hotels) — on bad days (which I suspect these will be because of the pace and the earliness of the appointments) having wheels helps me be able to not be a) exhausted and b) bored out of my mind. Although I guess that’s a follow-up question: *is* there anything in Rochester during the winter to do other than hospital appointments and huddle up at home with 3 sweaters on?

REPLY
@waterboy

First are you aware of the system of walkable corridors, under street level? scooters/power chairs are welcome and usable there. You can rent one in the subway level, just down from cafeteria.

Jump to this post

@lofturthunk, I do not know what there is to do in Rochester for a young person in the winter.

The following people might be more familiar with Rochester. Maybe one of them can shed some light on this question about winter and activities in Rochester, that you could navigate with your wheels.
@waterboy, @jamienolson, @lisalucier, @JustinMcClanahan, @kanaazpereira, Do you have any resource or suggestions to share?

Thank you,
Rosemary

REPLY

Hi @lofturthunk,

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. offers a skyway system, and subterranean walkways (called the “subway” system), all accessible by wheelchair or scooter. A variety of galleria shops and businesses are located along the underground subway, and hotels, shops and dining are all accessible without ever having to step outdoors in the winter.

Here’s the Mayo Clinic Patient & Visitor Guide, which you might wish to view:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/patient-visitor-guide/minnesota/becoming-a-patient/accessibility-services

This webpage, http://www.rochestercvb.org/play/event-calendar/, is another great resource for things to do in and around Rochester in winter. I’ve copied a few links for your convenience, as well:
– Enjoying SocialICE 2018 http://blog.rochestercvb.org/post/rochester-mns-ice-bars-are-back/
– 7 Fun Things To Do During WinterFest 2018 in Rochester, MN http://blog.rochestercvb.org/post/fun-things-to-do-during-winterfest-in-rochester-mn/

Wishing you the best of luck.

REPLY
@kanaazpereira

Hi @lofturthunk,

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. offers a skyway system, and subterranean walkways (called the “subway” system), all accessible by wheelchair or scooter. A variety of galleria shops and businesses are located along the underground subway, and hotels, shops and dining are all accessible without ever having to step outdoors in the winter.

Here’s the Mayo Clinic Patient & Visitor Guide, which you might wish to view:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/patient-visitor-guide/minnesota/becoming-a-patient/accessibility-services

This webpage, http://www.rochestercvb.org/play/event-calendar/, is another great resource for things to do in and around Rochester in winter. I’ve copied a few links for your convenience, as well:
– Enjoying SocialICE 2018 http://blog.rochestercvb.org/post/rochester-mns-ice-bars-are-back/
– 7 Fun Things To Do During WinterFest 2018 in Rochester, MN http://blog.rochestercvb.org/post/fun-things-to-do-during-winterfest-in-rochester-mn/

Wishing you the best of luck.

Jump to this post

Hello @lofturthunk, I was going to share a few of the same links as @kanaazpereira. The SocialICE event is a fun way to celebrate Minnesota and is located right in the heart of downtown and Mayo Clinic. There are plenty of heaters outside so it remains somewhat comfortable even if it is a cold evening.

In the winter, I also enjoy going to Rochester Ice Hawks hockey games, http://www.mnicehawks.com/. Even if hockey isn’t your sport, it’s still fun being in the atmosphere since hockey is such a big part of Rochester culture. I also enjoy going to the movies at Paragon Cheateau Theatres. It is an accessible theatre with many screens and they also have leather reclining seats, so it is a very comfortable viewing experience. These are just a few things I can think of for now. I will post more if I can think of any.

REPLY

I am glad you asked this questions because I don't always get around easily myself and I will be there alone.I called my hotel w/my concerns for my upcoming visits and the lady got pretty annoyed with me and hung up without even ending our conversation. I mean, this is the first time I will have had to use the underground subway system etc and I have no clue. I reach for any clues etc anyone gave me as to how to navigate my way around. I was told there are signs and benches. Not one person told me there would be escorts available. Even the shuttle is a bit of a walk from where some of us will be staying and the fact that many appointments start at 7 am and the shuttle starts at 6:45 I wonder if I would get there on time. Even if I walk am I going to get there on time being that I walk slowly because I tire quickly from one disease and have knee problems due to arthritis. The woman at the hotel and the woman at the hospital who also seemed annoyed that I would even ask, off handedly say, "its only a 10 to 15 minute walk!" For a healthy person thats well and good, but if one struggles its hard, sometimes too hard. And what Uber or taxi service is going to want to drive someone 2 or 3 blocks? My biggest concern is how Im going to get to my last two appointments app a mile and a half away. How good is the taxi service? Does anyone know? Why do they schedule appointments so early when the shuttle starts at 6:45, the subway opens at 6:30? Not everyone has someone with to get them around. Quite honestly Im almost afraid to go at all because of the experience Ive already had with the two ladies. Will they treat me as an annoyance when I get there? They have to realize number one that it is kind of scary and overwhelming for someone who has never been there. Number two why don't they tell us about this site where we can get questions answered so we don't have to 'bug' them?

REPLY
@dazesaday

I am glad you asked this questions because I don't always get around easily myself and I will be there alone.I called my hotel w/my concerns for my upcoming visits and the lady got pretty annoyed with me and hung up without even ending our conversation. I mean, this is the first time I will have had to use the underground subway system etc and I have no clue. I reach for any clues etc anyone gave me as to how to navigate my way around. I was told there are signs and benches. Not one person told me there would be escorts available. Even the shuttle is a bit of a walk from where some of us will be staying and the fact that many appointments start at 7 am and the shuttle starts at 6:45 I wonder if I would get there on time. Even if I walk am I going to get there on time being that I walk slowly because I tire quickly from one disease and have knee problems due to arthritis. The woman at the hotel and the woman at the hospital who also seemed annoyed that I would even ask, off handedly say, "its only a 10 to 15 minute walk!" For a healthy person thats well and good, but if one struggles its hard, sometimes too hard. And what Uber or taxi service is going to want to drive someone 2 or 3 blocks? My biggest concern is how Im going to get to my last two appointments app a mile and a half away. How good is the taxi service? Does anyone know? Why do they schedule appointments so early when the shuttle starts at 6:45, the subway opens at 6:30? Not everyone has someone with to get them around. Quite honestly Im almost afraid to go at all because of the experience Ive already had with the two ladies. Will they treat me as an annoyance when I get there? They have to realize number one that it is kind of scary and overwhelming for someone who has never been there. Number two why don't they tell us about this site where we can get questions answered so we don't have to 'bug' them?

Jump to this post

@dazesaday Are you going with a group of people? You mentioned something like that. Would they help you and push you in a wheelchair or transfer chair? The Mayo guide with the campus maps show the subways and walkways. Here is a link https://www.mayo.edu/pmts/mc1600-mc1699/mc1663-55.pdf
If you are going now in winter, walking outside isn't probably a good choice. Some hotels have subway access and some don't. The general information number from this campus map guide is 507-284-2511 if you wanted to ask for more specific information about convenience of particular hotels or how to get assistance at Mayo.

REPLY
@jenniferhunter

@dazesaday Are you going with a group of people? You mentioned something like that. Would they help you and push you in a wheelchair or transfer chair? The Mayo guide with the campus maps show the subways and walkways. Here is a link https://www.mayo.edu/pmts/mc1600-mc1699/mc1663-55.pdf
If you are going now in winter, walking outside isn't probably a good choice. Some hotels have subway access and some don't. The general information number from this campus map guide is 507-284-2511 if you wanted to ask for more specific information about convenience of particular hotels or how to get assistance at Mayo.

Jump to this post

No I am going to be driven there the day before. I will have someone with for my first appointment then they will be going home and returning on Thursday of the same week. (I will be there Sunday to Friday). I was pretty discouraged at the way the two ladies treated me like they did. Why didn't they tell me about this site where I could probably have gotten all my transport problems answered? Why did the one shut me off from asking questions via the Mayo message center? I thought they were my 'go to' person?

REPLY
@jenniferhunter

@dazesaday Are you going with a group of people? You mentioned something like that. Would they help you and push you in a wheelchair or transfer chair? The Mayo guide with the campus maps show the subways and walkways. Here is a link https://www.mayo.edu/pmts/mc1600-mc1699/mc1663-55.pdf
If you are going now in winter, walking outside isn't probably a good choice. Some hotels have subway access and some don't. The general information number from this campus map guide is 507-284-2511 if you wanted to ask for more specific information about convenience of particular hotels or how to get assistance at Mayo.

Jump to this post

If I can get to the Gonda Building they can shuttle me to one of my appointments at St Marys or would it be better to call a cab?

REPLY
@jamienolson

@lofturthunk, Thank you for starting this discussion- it’s going to be helpful for future Mayo Clinic patients that visit Mayo Clinic Connect for infomation.

Mayo offers an escort system free of charge to patients- When you arrive at Mayo your first stop will either be the front entryway at the Gonda Building or the entrance in the subway level from the parking ramp. Both doors have general service attendants that will call for an escort to take you to your first destination. When ready to leave your first appointment, simply let any desk know that you will need someone to take your to your next appointment and so on. If needed, the same services apply to your Mom if she is planning to travel with you.

I hope that helps! 🙂

Jump to this post

How about getting to St Marys

REPLY
@dazesaday

I am glad you asked this questions because I don't always get around easily myself and I will be there alone.I called my hotel w/my concerns for my upcoming visits and the lady got pretty annoyed with me and hung up without even ending our conversation. I mean, this is the first time I will have had to use the underground subway system etc and I have no clue. I reach for any clues etc anyone gave me as to how to navigate my way around. I was told there are signs and benches. Not one person told me there would be escorts available. Even the shuttle is a bit of a walk from where some of us will be staying and the fact that many appointments start at 7 am and the shuttle starts at 6:45 I wonder if I would get there on time. Even if I walk am I going to get there on time being that I walk slowly because I tire quickly from one disease and have knee problems due to arthritis. The woman at the hotel and the woman at the hospital who also seemed annoyed that I would even ask, off handedly say, "its only a 10 to 15 minute walk!" For a healthy person thats well and good, but if one struggles its hard, sometimes too hard. And what Uber or taxi service is going to want to drive someone 2 or 3 blocks? My biggest concern is how Im going to get to my last two appointments app a mile and a half away. How good is the taxi service? Does anyone know? Why do they schedule appointments so early when the shuttle starts at 6:45, the subway opens at 6:30? Not everyone has someone with to get them around. Quite honestly Im almost afraid to go at all because of the experience Ive already had with the two ladies. Will they treat me as an annoyance when I get there? They have to realize number one that it is kind of scary and overwhelming for someone who has never been there. Number two why don't they tell us about this site where we can get questions answered so we don't have to 'bug' them?

Jump to this post

dazesaday @dazesaday, Welcome. This is an excellent question. And I am sorry that you were not satisfied with the 2 ladies you chatted with. Your concerns about navigating during your visit are a priority that needs to be addressed. I want to share some additional information with you.
Mayo Clinic provides a free concierge service for all 3 Mayo Campuses. Recently the concierge service has added Live Chat as an exciting new way to help people. Now you can chat with a live person about your visit.
Here is the link to the live chat service in the online Visitor's Guide https://www.mayoclinic.org/patient-visitor-guide

I send you my thoughts for a safe and satisfactory visit. I wish you good health.

REPLY
@rosemarya

dazesaday @dazesaday, Welcome. This is an excellent question. And I am sorry that you were not satisfied with the 2 ladies you chatted with. Your concerns about navigating during your visit are a priority that needs to be addressed. I want to share some additional information with you.
Mayo Clinic provides a free concierge service for all 3 Mayo Campuses. Recently the concierge service has added Live Chat as an exciting new way to help people. Now you can chat with a live person about your visit.
Here is the link to the live chat service in the online Visitor's Guide https://www.mayoclinic.org/patient-visitor-guide

I send you my thoughts for a safe and satisfactory visit. I wish you good health.

Jump to this post

All I wanted to do was pre plan and make sure I knew what was available to me to make sure I got to my appointments on time. Now I feel almost like a 'nut case' because of the frustration I may have caused. People who have never been there, including myself, have no clue what to expect. Thank you for your understanding and thank you for the info! : )

REPLY

@dazesaday, I strongly encourage you to call or chat with the Concierge Service at Mayo Clinic.

Ways to Contact Mayo Concierge Services
* Phone: 507-538-8438
* Live Chat: https://www.mayoclinic.org/patient-visitor-guide
* Email: concierge@mayo.edu
* Web form: https://www.mayoclinic.org/patient-visitor-guide/minnesota/becoming-a-patient/concierge-travel-services

I know you had an unpleasant encounter with someone on the phone at the hotel, but I encourage you to try again with the concierge service. They are super nice and can answer all your questions. (And you are asking VERY good questions.) I'm confident that knowing the answers to your questions will help reduce the anxiety that comes from the unknown.

Please keep asking questions here. It will help you draw a mental picture of what you can expect and how much time to allow for moving between appointments etc.

Here are some other discussions in the Visiting Mayo Clinic group that may answer some questions.
– First visit to Mayo and traveling alone: Winter advice? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/first-visit-to-mayo-and-traveling-alone-winter-advice/
– Tips for first dr visit and tests/appt schedules https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/tips-for-first-dr-visit-and-testsappt-schedules/
– First Time and Terrified https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/first-time-and-terrified/

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.