Fall Trip, 2015, Showers

 

When you travel with someone who has mobility problems and balance issues, shower taking can become a real concern.  Even in handicapped accessible hotel rooms, I can still tell ‘this bathroom was designed by someone who has never been in a wheel chair’.  Because of that I still look at  Airbnb  https://www.airbnb.com/  for places to rent that are mostly private homes.  (You may recall Ben’s wonderful birthday week in France was spent at an Airbnb place where the owner’s aunt used a wheel chair.) 

nov 2015, usa holland 100

This was the shower at an Airbnb home that we stayed at in Raleigh.  It was very close to perfect.  We brought a shower chair and the rubbery mat with us.  Attached to the wall is the removable suction safety handle that we also brought.  Because this shower had completely smooth walls that handle sucked right on perfectly.  If the shower had been a detachable hose type of shower then this would have been completely perfect.  There was a shelf to put shampoo and such on.  Not too much of a lip for Ben to step over but enough that I did not have to mop up the whole place afterwards.  Very High Marks!

 

I neglected to take a picture of the shower in the handicapped accessible hotel room in Virginia Beach.  It is from the ‘less is better’ school of design.  The very large, so-a-wheel-chair-can-get-in-there bathroom has a toilet, sink, roll-in shower with grab bars and 1 (yes, count it, ONE) towel rack.  No where to put anything like shampoo in the shower, or soap or a toothbrush when using the sink.  I flipped over a trash can and plopped  it down in the shower for shampoo and stuff and moved one of the outdoor balcony plastic chairs inside to use as a shelf by the sink.  Now, I’m able to do things like that, but could someone in a wheel chair traveling independently do that?

 

nov 2015, usa holland 352

This was the shower in our very pricy, new construction hotel room in Amsterdam.  It was nice.  Would have been better if there had a bar above and parallel to the shower seat so that the shower could have been right over the person sitting down.  And if the shower curtain had been weighted or stiffer at the bottom so that soooo much water didn’t come out into the rest of the bathroom. 

nov 2015, usa holland 351

And this was the tub in the same Amsterdam hotel room.  Oh my what a nice tub.  I took a bath every day.  Sometimes two times a day.  It was so nice.  Fortunately I had brought with me a bag of Epsom salts for soaking my travel weary body.  Ohhhh, one of the best things of the trip.  But you see our rubbery mat hanging on the side.  Using that made all the difference in my feeling of security when I was getting in and out of the tub. 

So as my peers and I get older these are things to consider when traveling.  One of the reasons why Ben and I traveled as much as we could when we were younger is that somehow we just knew that the day would come when it would be so much more difficult to travel.  Take some advice, travel now while you are able!

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2 Comments

  1. Glad you all can make do when facilities are not equipped as they should be. I was in a doctor’s office with John’s 95 year old Mother today and shocked at how much effort I had to make to hold a door open while trying to push a wheel chair and how there was a bar only on one side of the toilet. She broke her hip last fall – first time she ever broke a bone and has never had a hip or knee replacement and has her own teeth! I guess people are some what like cars – “they don’t make them like they used to”

    Builders should have people who have sight, hearing and mobility challenges check out their facilities for ways to improve them. I had a woman in a wheel chair talk to one of my college travel classes and she mentioned how some elevators have the sensor for closing the doors too high for someone in a wheel chair.

    I agree with traveling as much as possible when young. Fortunately, as the years go by ships, hotels, etc. are seeing the need to be more accessible. We should all be thankful for the years we have when we can travel without difficulty. Sorry we missed ya’ll while you were in the U.S. Come to Wilmington on your next visit. 🙂

  2. Hi Talula, nice to hear from you. Don’t even get me started about doors that are heavy, shut like a rat triping the trap, and can’t be held open while you are trying to push a wheel chair with a heavy man through it. I think we need to add a wedge to our carry-on aids package and just wedge the door open.

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