Disability Parking, who should use it?

I have had Parkinsons Disease for about 11 years. I have severe tremors in arms, legs, and mouth. I have had a few falls. Also i have dementia and have trouble finding my car sometime,Yesterday while leaving a movie theater I got into my car and healty wife was driving, She got a go to hell look by a fellow in a wheel chair and then he shook his head in disgust.Things are not always what they seem to be and maybe the guy in wheel chair felft that parking should only by used by those in wheel chairs? I have been asked by one health care profession if I should even by driving becasue of my tremors? What is everbodies opinion on this issue? Somethings are not clearly seen and may need to be defended?

12 Replies

  • Should you be driving? I quit when I didn't feel it was safe for my children to ride in the car when I was driving. I could not always tell when my off time was coming. I would freeze. The tremors on my right side effects my stearing. Even when my meds were working, my reaction time was not good.

  • In the UK we have to apply for a 'blue badge' to be able to use disabled parking places. (Or, as is well documented, break into a car and steal one!) The decision is made by each local authority and they can be influenced by the results of the Personal Independence Payments and Mobility Assessment carried out nationally. In theory this should be an objective measure of needs but is far from it.

    People with disabilities are able to drive and being a driver does not eliminate you from using a disabled parking spot. People in wheelchairs can be a poorly educated about other sorts of disability as anybody else. It takes education and perhaps, if you had not actually been moving off, it would have been an opportunity to do just that.

    Also in the UK, people with Parkinson's are on three yearly renewals of their driving licence with the health professionals submitting reports as to the suitability, in each case, of renewal.

    You are a reasonable man I suspect and would not want to be the cause of an accident or your own injury for that matter. Again, here in the UK there are centres which help us assess our own ability to drive. Could you do something like that?

    If you need a disability parking place have a disability parking place but be ready to stop driving when you are not up to today's traffic conditions or the decision making needed.

  • You are eligible for a handicapped placard, to be used by the driver whose car you are riding in, but only then. You should not be driving, ever, if you are subject to tremors or freezing.

  • Gladyscon, I could not agree with you more. The shame is that a lot of people drive past the point of when they should not be driving. Just because they can still move a car safely during ideal conditions, they don't want to admit the truth. Even after plowing through store fronts, some think that the brakes were to blame. In other words, even killing someone else with their car doesn't make them see that they should not drive. Their independence is the most important thing to them.

  • I voluntarily don't drive do to my slow reaction ability. I still have my license. As for handicap license. I use it . My husband drives, and I need to be closed to wherever we go, do to my PD. I have balance problems, and can not walk that far until I am able to sit in a wheel chair, provided by the store. I also have dystonia of the feet and had a stroke in 2004 paralizing my left side. After 1 year of everyday therapy, most people can not tell that I had a major stroke. I also have a 8 lb. maltese , by the name of Spencer who is my service dog.

  • It isn't just the freezing and tremor . In a lot of cases it's the special awareness, My husband had that but wasn't aware of .

    I had to point it out to him not nice because I do not drive myself . Can drive but haven't for many years and not safe to do so now .

    He still has his licence but would nt dream of using it now .

  • If by driving you pose a risk to yourself or others that should be avoided and left to those that can articulate steering while using their mobile phone more efficiently!

  • I limit my night time driving due to two main factors ( the reduced field of vision everyone typically encounters and the wearing off effect of my meds). Both affect my reaction time. Before the meds worked I found myself slowing down dramatically (as I tended to speed before then) and have kept my speed down to a reasonable level and with the meds feel that overall I'm a safer driver now than I was ten years ago). I have not been in an accident nor received a speeding violation in over 30 years. The other watch out for item is lack of sleep. I will not drive any length of time if I haven't gotten at least two good nights sleep in a row before. Even so I drive in the morning when I am most alert for these trips because with meds and a large lunch I wouldn't be as alert.

  • I have a handicap tag, also a tag that I can use in the window of someone's car if they are taking me somewhere. I am early onset and get a lot of stares if I park in the handicap parking. I only drive occasionally due to tremors, dizziness and balance issues. Most of the time I do not use the handicap parking because I do feel there are people who have a greater need for it.

    Last week I went to a Dr. appointment, no handicap was open and parking was a distance from the office, down a hill and across grass. I parked on a side street and was immediately asked by an employee of the Dr. office to move my car. People do not understand how you can look ok when meds are on but still have tremendous balance issues. It frightens me to walk across uneven surfaces such as grass.

    There is a lot of education that needs to take place regarding how PD affects more than movement.

  • You park where you want to park --- it does not matter who is driving the car. You are handicapped.

  • exactly. My only personal rule is I try not to take the last handicapped spot.

  • I do still drive, and do have a placard for both vehicles. I can tell when issues are arising and make it a point to pull over and stop. As far as parking, I do use the handicapped parking if I feel it's needed. However, as Susie01 stated, don't use it a good part of the time. Most people don't understand.

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