This letter is about doors, and I don’t mean the singing group. I definitely do not feel a song coming on.
This is something that seems very strange to me. The doors at many of the shopping areas around town open nicely as you approach them.... going in and coming out. The doors at the hospital do not. The people using those stores are mostly able bodied, while a lot of those using the hospital entrances are not.
My husband is on dialysis and in a wheelchair. We are at the Yorkton hospital three evenings a week.
At the main hospital entrance there are two sets of doors, outside ones and another set inside the “porch”. One set of each is manual, and the other elecronic, with large button activators, which may or may not work. There’s not usually a problem getting in, it’s the getting out that is driving me crazy. If the magic Seeing Eye above the door doesn’t like the way you approached it, it isn’t going to open, so you back up, wait for the light to go out, and try again. The next step... open the door manually; use the outside button, which usually works. One night last week, we went through this whole procedure, with me becoming more and more angry. The doors did not open, the doors locked. It was 8 p.m., visiting hours are over. I’m locked out, my husband is locked in. I pressed the call bell, no one answered. I finally tried the other set of doors, which were open and let me back in, and then had to hold a door open while pushing the wheelchair through. It’s like a gong show. That has been the very worst experience so far and I am getting very tired of this nonsense.
How on earth does a handicap person alone manage with a wheelchair, crutches, or a walker? This does not make for “Independent living”. Has anyone who is supposed to keep those doors working ever tried using a wheelchair, or tried to get a patient through doors that aren’t working right?
This is all so wrong. The doors should be motion activated and, most importantly... WORKING.
One year ago I wrote to the Patient Health and Safety committee about those doors. I also mentioned that there needs to be a much longer curb-free area with smooth cement for wheelchairs. Periodically I am assured that things are being worked on, but so far I don’t see anything different. Are we the only ones who think this is a problem? Is this how it’s going to be until such time as a new hospital happens?
So.... what are our options? We still have to get in and out of there 3 times a week. Do I have to bring along a helper to hold open doors? Maybe a Senior in Saltcoats would like a part-tme job ...everyone knows Seniors don’t have anything to do. Perhaps our kids could take turns taking time off to come and open doors. Do we have to move to Yorkton, so we can use the handicap bus, which makes the doors someone else’s problem?
I’ve decided to stop at Information and report each time we have a problem.
So far I’ve heard, “Oh? Really?”, which I take to mean “Who Cares?”