By Peter Raimondi
I have been disabled as a result of childhood Polio.
I have noticed when visiting eating places in Harford County. that approxamtely 95% of them do not have accommodations for the elderly and the disabled. And by that I mean the chairs that are furnished do not have arms on them. Sometimes this type of chair is called a “Captians Chair”
The Captians Chairs make it easier for the disabled and the elderly tro raise themselves to a standing position because they can now push themselves up easily with the help of the arms.
Several years ago I approached many restaurants in Harford County asking that they furnish this type of chair.
Without a second thought the restaurants that agreed and have furnishd this type of chairs are:
Bone Fish Grill, Red Lobster, Panera Bread, Bob Evans and the most recenty one being The Open Door Cafe.
You would be surprised in those restaurants that turned down my request.
You have to walk in the shoes of the disabled or the elderly to see what I mean.
This is how I see things.
Both of my elderly parents have had this same experience. Their decision on which restaurant to patronize is determined by the ease of access for a “Walker” or a wheelchair and the availability of chairs with arms.
Providing a few Captains Chairs seems to be a fairly simple and savvy addition to make.
My grandfather also has a lot of difficulty standing up and has to brace himself/push up on some sort of surface. He had both his knees replaced several years and has had this problem ever since. As far as I know my grandparents don’t base their decision on where to dine out on whether or not the restaurant has “captain’s chairs” available. I know I’ve certainly never seen him ask for one, but he may not know that it’s an option some places or he’s too proud to ask (probably a combination of both.) He usually just puts his hand on the table and pushes up and this has lead to some near disasters involving the table flipping over. We’ve learned to make sure someone is holding the table when he’s getting up (and to help him up), but a “captain’s chair would definitely be a better option and I’ll be sure to suggest it next time I’m visiting them. Thanks for the info!
I have been limping in the shoes of the disabled for a few years and now use the cane of the elderly. Most people pay us little attention and seem to be happy if we just get out of the way while those few precious jewels in the basket of humanity that hold a door, ask if we need help, or let us go by in a parking lot without blowing the horn I know will be rewarded. Alexsander Solzhenitsyn once compared these to the worthy that kept the Lord from destroying cities. Perhaps thats why we are still here.
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