Living in a recreational vehicle, or RV, is an enjoyable experience for most. Seniors particularly enjoy the RV lifestyle as it allows for travel and freedom on the road during their retirement years. But is it right for seniors with health issues? For example, is full-time RV living a good lifestyle for someone with a disability?
Is full-time RV living appropriate for seniors with health challenges?
Though everyone’s story is different, senior citizens with health challenges and persons with limited mobility may still enjoy the RV lifestyle. Some people facing health challenges adapt and live well independently, while others may require some assistance. People with disabilities should check with the federal, state, and local government to see if they are eligible for disability benefits.
Are disabilities common in the United States?
Per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 1 in 4 (27%) of adults in the United States have some type of disability. This impacts communities, health, and access to health services. 12.1% have mobility disability with serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs. This can be a challenge no matter where one lives and considerations often need to be made.
Exteriors can be fitted to benefit disabled individuals.
Modern day RVs can be modified to meet the needs of people with physical challenges and disabilities. For example, vehicles can be equipped with specialized wheelchairs or electric cart ramps and lifts. Modern RVs can be outfitted with hydraulically lowered and hoisted devices that move up and down with the push of a button. RV skirting and exterior sunshades can be installed by professionals to lighten the workload for those who cannot do self-installs.
Interior changes can also be made.
Changes to an RV’s interior can be made to address challenges that people with disabilities may face. This includes creating wheelchair friendly floor plans, installing custom countertops and built-ins, and adding helpful accessories to promote independence such as shower grab bars, hoses, and shower seats. Driving controls can also be adapted to meet special needs.
Is RV living good for seniors with health challenges?
While RV living isn’t ideal for everyone, seniors with health challenges should not be precluded from the experience. Many disabled adults can enjoy the benefits of RV living, from affordability to visiting new and exciting places.
Bonuses of full-time RV living for seniors with health challenges:
- Purchasing an RV is generally less expensive than buying a home. Thus, overall, it may save money.
- Month to month, a budget-friendly RV lifestyle can be less expensive than living in a traditional household.
- RVs may remain stationary for various lengths of time. Not only does this reduce spending on gas, but it enables individuals to be near doctors, specialists, and preferred pharmacies.
- RV lifestyle encourages camaraderie amongst RV owners. Many enjoy activities and spending time together and form lifelong friendships. Thus, the lifestyle can be far from lonely and isolating.
- RVers with disabilities don’t have to miss out. They can take advantage of handicapped accessible campgrounds and parks that exist throughout the USA. A few examples include:
- Some RV resorts are exclusively for seniors 55 and older. A good number also welcome guests with mobility issues and offer features such as more paved roads, sturdy ramps, and power doors.
Truth be told
Many people manage health conditions quite well. However, some medical issues can cause difficulties for senior RVers who require good vision to drive and some levels of physical strength. Driving and parking, hooking up utilities, and dealing with uneven surfaces are some trials that folks with health challenges may face. Learning to troubleshoot issues, accept help, and being realistic and flexible are part of successful full-time RV living for seniors with health challenges.