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Letter Response: Elderly Friendly?

Citylife reader Jonathan Nash wrote a letter to the editor this month requesting our help.

Elderly Friendly?
Would it be possible to get a group together, (I would be happy to help) to compile a list/guide of facilities and resources already in place here in CNX that would be most useful for the elderly and handicapped? Such as movie houses, restaurants, hospitals, malls, department stores and supermarkets, etc. that can accommodate wheelchair access; which hospitals have multi-lingual resources, how to find reputable care-taking services, etc. If you think that this is a good idea, can you provide the impetus to get something like this started?

Unfortunately we didn’t have the resources to do this project and asked whether he could kick-start it all by compiling a list of what he knew. Together with Ralph Kramer, Johnathan has done a great job of going around Chiang Mai looking for locations where there are handicapped toilets and access ramps. This is only the beginning, but if it is important to you, please feel free to add to this listings by sending your details to [email protected].

Handicap Toilets
• All the fairly new PTT Gas Stations (built within the last 5 years or so), plus the stations built this year have Amazon Coffee Shops with wheelchair ramps ie. across from Airport Immigration, just before the Don Jan intersection on the superhighway, on the Canal Road about 10km past the Samoeng Intersection on the way to Mae Wong.
• Some Caltex such as on route 118 in Sansai. (Haven’t found any at ESSO or SHELL.)
• Shopping Centres at Mee Chok Plaza, Kad Farang, BigC/Homepro Hang Dong, Tesco Lotus all branches.
• All the major shopping malls except Kad Suan Kaew. The Promenada is the most accommodating for wheelchairs.
• The new McDonald’s with drive-thru and cylindrical shaped buildings built within the last year ie. Kad Farang.
• Both airport terminals first and second floors.

Handicap Access Ramps (or easy entrance doors)
• Amazon Coffee at the new PTT gas stations.
• The Wine Connection at Kad Farang.
• Rimping Supermarkets.
• Tesco Lotus Superstores.
• All the hospitals, with Bangkok Hospital being the easiest for wheelchairs.

A side note regarding the broader issue of the language barrier at hospitals for Japanese, Chinese, and English speaking patients:
Chiang Mai Ram Hospital has translators on call for all three languages, but we found that many of the nurses and doctors can speak English.

Rajavej Hospital has a special International Liason Department with full-time staff who can speak English and Japanese.

Sriphat Hospital has a full-time native language coordinator for English speaking patients.

Bangkok Hospital has full-time staff to cover all three languages, most of the doctors and nurses can speak English.

McCormick has a full-time English speaking coordinator.

If anyone has any information to add to this please feel free to send it to us at [email protected].