Don’t abuse handicapped parking

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Do you know someone who is truly handicapped or disabled? My husband is and, believe me, it has made me so aware of the stress he has in using the motorized carts that some stores have, using the facilities and parking issues.
I believe we have misused the word “handicap.”
Even though patients with heart conditions are requested to walk, they ask their doctors for a handicapped tag, so they can park close to stores’ entrances with little to no walking.
Pregnant? Really, you also need to have special handicapped parking areas? Children? You need special close-by parking availability to stores? Being pregnant and having children are not being disabled or handicapped.
You have elderly people who need to be able to park closer to store entrances. Put more cart holders in the parking area, so that you do not have to walk to the middle of the parking lot to put the cart up to keep from having damage to other’s cars.
The elderly need more love and care than the young. It is called respect.
We’ve even gone to the movies and seen motorcycles with handicapped tags on them. Please, people need to think of the inconvenience their inconsideration causes others. When I have to park in the entrance way, help my husband out of the car, into his wheelchair or leave him standing on the sidewalk with his walker, while someone runs into a restaurant to get their dinner leaving their grandmother sitting in the car. Where’s the consideration?
This is why we’re looked at as being fat and lazy, with no consideration for the elderly, handicapped or disabled.
I feel people don’t really know what disability and handicap mean.
The true meaning of disability and handicap is “any restriction or lack (resulting from any impairment) or ability to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being.”
I cannot tell you how many times we have pulled into a parking lot to find the handicapped person left sitting in the car, while someone else runs inside to take care of a purchase or bank, with no consideration for my husband, who has to use a walker or a wheelchair. Or a person who is more than capable of walking uses the handicapped spot because they happen to have a car tag that allows them to park in the handicapped spot and the person the tag is for is not even there. My husband has a picture on his and this is how it should be.
I have had to ask people to move their vehicles because they park over the sidewalk, where my husband cannot even get past their car. No consideration.
Facilities are made for the people who need no assistance in going, but try and get into the bathroom with a wheelchair or walker and it’s next to impossible. The doors to the restroom open incorrectly and are so heavy I have to assist him and even go inside with him because there is no way he can open the door using his walker or wheelchair.
I must say that McDonald’s has taken the time to consider what is needed for those in need. We have driven out of the way for him to use the facilities there.
We just recently went on an outing with our grandchildren and I had to go into the restroom with him. I had to help him into the area and sit in the wheelchair with my back to the open area because the handicapped area was behind the door, which they kept open. To keep him from becoming trapped, I had to sit holding the door away from me and wheelchair.
If you’re overweight, you are not handicapped or disabled. I suggest parking at the end of the parking lot and doing yourself and your heart a favor by walking to the store.
After a while, you will realize it’s healthy and easy and you won’t be prone to using the last cart intended for someone like my husband.
Heart condition? My dad had a heart condition, just like my mother-in-law. They were both told to walk. My dad parked at the end of the parking lot and walked. He never requested anything to say he was unable to walk or needed to be at the door’s entrance. He did not consider himself disabled or handicapped.
If you are able to walk on your own, consider yourself lucky and stop seeing what you can get to make your life easier. Consider others around you that need assistance and know that you are lucky.
My husband is working hard to get back to where he was before his strokes, but it is going to take time.
Hopefully, with the help of others while he’s working on his goal of being able to walk without the use of a walker or wheelchair, he will have others being considerate of those who are actually handicapped or disabled.
A couple of years ago we were in Hawaii, where they know how to treat the elderly. On a bus, I often saw young people and children getting up to give someone older their seat. Unfortunately, I did see some American tourists who just sat there and did not move.
Be a little more considerate of those with special needs. They didn’t ask to be put into that position and we need to do what we can to take care of them. It is our position at this time, but one day, you may be in their position.
Remember the Golden Rule that so many people have forgotten – Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

A.G. Simmons
Indian Land