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.)
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?
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.
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!