How to enjoy a city break without walking?
April 30, 2011 2:10 PM   Subscribe

My mother has recently been diagnosed with arthritis of the hips. She's going to Florence on holidays summer and is used to doing lots of walking: recommendations?

My mother is used walking energetically everywhere she goes, especially on holidays. She's planning on a trip to Italy this summer with my Dad, and would have expected to walk around the sights and museums of Florence for days as usual. She's had a lot of pain in her hips recently though, and has been diagnosed with arthritis, so walking any great amount is out. I'm afraid if she doesn't have a plan she'll either wear herself out walking, be sore and not enjoy the holiday, or else stay sedate and not get out and see things.

I'm looking for suggestions on how she can still see the sights and have the experiences that she's used to on city holidays. Is renting a bike an option to see the city? Bus tours? Thanks in advance.
posted by hannahlambda to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Portable cane / chair. There are many brands and variants on these ideas. But basically, you want her to be able to take lots of short breaks anywhere and everywhere. Standing in line at the museum/airport/train? Bang, chair.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:06 PM on April 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You might think about a traditional wheelchair or scooter. Especially since your mom is actually able to walk whenever she wants to. Your dad would push her in the chair whenever the walking is primarily for transportation (walking from the train station to a museum) then let her get out and push it empty during the museum tour. Whenever it's inconvenient to be in the chair (stairs, tight corridors, romantic views) just get out and walk.

Or if her hip pain makes it necessary, make a schedule - so many hours in the chair; so many hours out.
posted by CathyG at 3:51 PM on April 30, 2011

I think the type of arthritis would make a difference as well as how she's responded to medications. I have issues with my girdle and axial joints (including hips), but I can go for fair distances as long as I pace myself. Being able to take short sitting breaks is definitely a plus as are good walking shoes or sandals.
posted by michswiss at 4:32 PM on April 30, 2011

Here is another cane seat. I ordered it myself because I walk around NYC constantly but sometimes can't wait 15 minutes for a bus standing up, etc.
posted by the young rope-rider at 5:18 PM on April 30, 2011

Best answer: Would she like getting around by rented Segway?
posted by progosk at 1:00 PM on May 1, 2011

Response by poster: A Segway and the portable seats are great ideas. I'm afraid she'd feel terribly old and infirm in a wheelchair, she's only in her early fifties and she's not used to being immobile. I'm not sure which type of arthritis it is but she'll need a new hip as soon as the pain is getting quite bad (brought about by light enough housework) and since the pain meds are tearing up her stomach I'd say she'll get the operation soon after the Italian trip.

A scooter for two driven by my dad might be a cool idea for them too. Sincere thanks to everyone that responded.
posted by hannahlambda at 1:42 PM on May 1, 2011

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