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Old 04-25-2016, 09:22 PM   #1
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Orthopedic transport bus?

OK, folks, here's an off-the-wall one for you. Any medical folks out there want to respond? Or just cooler heads than mine?

I want to buy a bus as a moving van and temporary RV for the move. In preparation (expect this in 2-3 years) I've been doing a lot of reading and back-of-napkin sketches.

But I got word today that my 97 year old mother just fell and broke her pelvis in three places. And my sister and brother-in-law who live Minnesota near her have to move to the coast of Oregon in a few months. This will leave my mother on her own (well, in a skilled nursing facility) until she's ready to travel to join them.

Travel options for a 97 year old with a broken pelvis seem limited. Already they're three or four hours from the Minneapolis airport. And I don't know how well she would tolerate a plane flight. Medical transport van charges for 2000 miles would be astronomical, I should think, as would a chartered plane.

So (being creative and not particularly realistic) I suggested we get a bus a year or two early, and put a hospital bed in it and make it a medical transport vehicle.

But after I dried my eyes from laughing at the thought, I began to wonder if it might actually be a good solution: full medical bed, room for wife to play nurse, room for beds for the two of us, stop when we want for no-motion, for restroom breaks, at night for undisturbed sleep, or to watch the sunset. Ability to cook for her. No walking or waiting in lines. Not being cooped up in an airplane seat. Mount the hospital bed just behind the driver to reduce bounce, and drive like I had a load of eggs, or course.

It would be a 2000 mile trip for her, through Cheyenne to avoid the worse roads further north (or 3200 if we use the southern route). Not to mention 1230 miles to get from our place TO her and 2800 miles back. And maybe in the winter... with factory insulation and a propane wall heater...

Am I being ridiculous? Well, any more than usual?
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Old 04-25-2016, 09:47 PM   #2
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Old 04-25-2016, 10:03 PM   #3
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a cross country trip in a school bus is not for the timid. school buses are loud, bouncy, rough riding and slow. i wouldn't put my mother through it.
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Old 04-25-2016, 10:08 PM   #4
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a cross country trip in a school bus is not for the timid. school buses are loud, bouncy, rough riding and slow. i wouldn't put my mother through it.
Maybe I should get a Prevost or a VanHool? Point well made. Will cool my jets.
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Old 04-25-2016, 10:35 PM   #5
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a cross country trip in a school bus is not for the timid. school buses are loud, bouncy, rough riding and slow. i wouldn't put my mother through it.
Nor would I, even with air ride.
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Old 04-25-2016, 10:44 PM   #6
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Not even with air ride? I would. Get a really comfy lazy boy and an air ride suspension, she'd never know she was moving! The noise, well that's another issue all together....
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Old 04-25-2016, 10:48 PM   #7
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anytime i've let my SO drive and i go lay down in the back..... when she bumps the rumble strips on the side of the roads, it will wake you up and curl your nerves like fingernails on a chalk board. oh, you know your're moving!
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:02 PM   #8
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Not even with air ride? I would. Get a really comfy lazy boy and an air ride suspension, she'd never know she was moving! The noise, well that's another issue all together....
Well, she can't hear, so that may not be a problem...
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:39 PM   #9
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That doesn't sound difficult at all. Modifications to the bus always take more time and money than expected, but I think it would work and I think she'd like it and here's why.
I haven't been able to slow down the aging process so I'm setting up this special needs bus, I mean van, so I can use it and continue to travel at my own speed. What I'm getting at is I have a craftmatic bed, and the surface of the bed with mattress is about four inches lower than bottom of the tinted windows. Very easy to see outside through the window and used ones are not expensive. Sometimes you have to repair the electronics that raise and lower the bed. There are also used hospital beds that you can get but they look a little industrial.
I'd pay good money for someone to drive me across the country while I laid in bed and looked out the window. If you're using a generator for AC while traveling, the bed would have power so she could change her positon and she could even watch TV if you're taking your DVR/dvd.

On the other hand I haven't fractured my hip in three places. I think this is a wonderful opportunity for you to get your bus early. Did you say mother, or mother-in-law? If you got your bus early you could put a bed in it and take her out to see how well she tolerates the ride, plus I'm sure she'll be ready to get out of the house for a while by time you get the bus together. One of these special needs buses would be nice. I use the L-track to anchor down the bed, barrels of water, file cabinets and fridge.
I think that's a very cool idea and I think she'd like it. I'd definitely want to try it out to see if she could tolerate it. Ambulances are rougher riding than buses even without air suspension. Biggest problem I can see is dealing the bathroom issue.
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:46 PM   #10
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It would be pretty callous to use her misfortune to promote an earlier bus purchase. Sigh. I hardly ever have untainted motivations.

Problem (for testing) is that she's in Minnesota and I'm in Virginia, with no bus. Oh, well.

Another source suggested mounting the bed (I was thinking hand-crank, since my wife and I are right there) on its own air-ride system. We would have the room, and I live near Virginia Tech. Wonder if any Mechanical Engineering students need a senior project still?

Mother-son bonding time! Yay!
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