Using accessible bathrooms in hotels
MemberJune 21, 2018 at 3:10 pm
I acquired a SCI (T12) 3.5 years ago and can transfer with a four wheel walker. I am planning my first holidays in four years but of course things have changed.
I am fairly confident about transferring out of bed and onto toilet (as long as there are bars) but wonder about showers. Hotels and cruise ships seem to offer pull down shower chairs – which is fine. But how does one transfer safely?
To get into the shower I would need to use the wheelchair and transfer that way but surely the wheelchair would get wet.
Are there portable shower/commode chairs with wheels available. The ones I found on the internet seem to be just chairs
I am single and would most likely travel alone – or is this t0o ambitious?
Any advice or suggestions is appreciated.
MemberJune 21, 2018 at 3:48 pm
I have CP and need someone to help me transfer, so I’m not in the same boat exactly. But I have a few thoughts on the topic 🙂
First of all, the shower situation really depends on where you are traveling. For example, where I live (Japan) there are rarely separate showers so you sit next to the bathtub to shower on a portable shower chair, but in the US the flip-down benches seem to be the norm. While flip-down benches are sturdier, you cannot choose where to place it!
In Japan the hotel provides a shower chair but usually only have ones like these:
They fold up, but no wheels.
Again, different experience but, for me the biggest challenge is that the shower floors often don’t have non-slip mats etc so transferring is dangerous at times.
To prevent your wheelchair from getting wet, maybe you could bring a plastic tarp to cover it while you shower? Or tie a rope to it, then after you transfer push the wheelchair away (while holding the rope!) and after your shower you could pull it back with the rope?
In retrospect, the tarp seems easier 😛
Maybe try going on a short trip with a carer or family member to start and see what it is like?If you can do it without help it could give you confidence to try alone the next time. Or try staying by yourself in a local hotel near your home so you can easily call someone if need be?
I love travel and feel it makes my life richer, but it does require improvisation when you have a disability! Lets come up with ideas together! If you don’t mind sharing where you plan on going for your first trip, we could come up with more concrete ideas.
MemberJune 21, 2018 at 7:21 pm
Since I’m semi mobile, I carefully climb into the shower. Sit on the floor of the shower. And use the shower. Idk if that helps.
MemberJune 25, 2018 at 5:45 pm
As a wheelchair user, I tend to just try and work with what I have….
Lots of the benches provided in showers aren’t great at all with the exception of the U.S. benches as Josh says. However, even though they’re a good size, they can be pretty hard too so I usually put a folded towel on them as a cushion. (I’m not at all precious about using hotel/hostel towels to save my backside!)
Sometimes, if I’m in Asia, I’ll buy/borrow a regular plastic chair locally and use that. Please, please, please make sure this is sturdy enough to take your weight. I’m not a big guy, but I’ve had one disaster doing this (and lots of successes to be fair)!
One other thing I thought for you, dkc2018, was to pack a rubber bathroom mat when you travel. I know it’s a bit inconvenient, but you’ll always have a non-slip surface. Finally, the last resort for me is to put towels on the floor of the shower and sit down there (like Reke). It’s awkward, but you can’t fall off of the floor!
Hope that helps!
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