Wheel Chairs and Walkers

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Hollowwood's picture
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10/14/2011

When my wife played Alice in Wonderland and fell thru the top landing of an outside set of stairs, we were on our way to learning first hand how it is to travel disabled. I did a cross country trip to Seattle, Washington, to pick her up. Our trip back had her in a back brace and using a walker and wheel chair. I have to say that from that 6 day drive back, we learned that Handicaped Accessable means differant things to differant people and also to differant Motels. Narrow ramps in a few and direct access from a private door in others. Where most messed up was in the rooms. Those big beds were not intended for small rooms. It left tight space for a walker to get next to the bed to get in. Forget trying it with the wheel chair. Plus, the bed was so high that I had to help her so she did not slide back. In one case I had no choice but to move the bed 6". Now this are in rooms supposedly designed for wheel chairs! The bathrooms also varied in how they functioned. In some, we could not use the chair unless we backed in. A differant choice of furnishing would have solved most of the problems with the bed. The reason for this topic is that with our aging population, are you planning for it? And how?  Use of walkers may be on the rise. Can you adapt? Older homes that are now B&Bs may have a hard time doing so. If we choose to build to suit, this will be part of the design. If we go as is on a home, we will have to make do.  Any thoughts on this? Have you run into this problem? My wife just chipped in saying, "Add a plushy recliner!" Someone with back pain can sleep in one better than a bed. She still has some nights where she spends part of the night  in hers. I had to buy her one so I could get mine back!!!  Art/Kat

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Proud Texan's picture
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05/30/2008

One should be in compliance within one's budgetary constraints.    This gets back to the argument, should you be "all things to all people"?   I say, no.  

We target a specific demographic.   If your wheelchair can go off-road and climb hills and outrun feral hogs,  then your more than welcome.   If it can't,  then possibly we're not the best place for you to stay.   

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

One of the Vets that is booked here for Nov 10 is an amputee. I asked about what is missing because the guestrooms are on the second floor. His wife said he will hop up the stairs. They are excited about coming. (Me too.)

EmptyNest's picture
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05/22/2008

 I have to say this...sorry. but it is very distracting trying to read your bold print and run together sentences. 

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

My husband had polio but was moble with a full leg brace. Our first foray with wheelchairs/walkers came in 2007 with his 6-way bypass and that was because of the polio he did not have use of both legs like a "normal" person (to even stand up you use your leg muscles). Since he is a skinny butt (unlike his wife) all we had to do was remove the door to our bathroom for the wheelchair in the house - getting the ramp built caused my meltdown - and that IS the word for it.

One of his best friends built a house when they retired. His wife was an RN until she moved up the management level. SHE designed their house for future reference - roll-in showers, no door sills and wide doors, patio entry with no steps, back the car in to the garage to put groceries from the trunk on the shelf at elbow height and go into the pantry in the house to open the window/door and just pull them in onto the shelf to be put away.....

The problem we have with B & Bs when we travel now is the height of the beds. They are often so high you need a ladder to get into the bed. I totally understand what you are talking about although most of the "handicap" rooms we have seen have just one bed, not the usual 2.

Hollowwood's picture
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10/14/2011

The places we stayed also had the one bed. The first stop we made was the eye opener. She had to keep the back brace on due to a Compressed Vertibra that was to take months to heal before the brace could be removed at night. She stood there looking at the bed height and asked, "Now what?!?" We had to use suit case to get her high enough to mount the bed! The mattress was also so soft that she could not roll out of bed or turn over with out my help. Lots of those fond memories of the Motel Experiance!  Art

Joey Camb's picture
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04/02/2010

One of the reasons our room 11 which is ground floor and not officially diabled access is a zip and link is for some of the reasons above. everyone assumes you are a couple well a lot of people with limited mobility may travel with a sister, child etc and don't want one bed. This way we have the best of both worlds and tried to pick a bed at what I call ass level you can sit on it lean back and swing your legs in without any bending either in or out. its what my gran who had no hip on one side (they botched a hip replacement) and no knee on that side either. Trouble is so many "designers" don't have practical experience they need to get some non able bodied people in to test run it and do a full run down of what works and what doesn't.

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Hollowwood's picture
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10/14/2011

You make a good point for two beds that I had not thought of. Before we did this trip, we were one of those that did not know how hard it is for those with mobility problems. We did let the desk know of our problems and most were all ears and open to fixing problems. We stayed at a "Red Roof Inn" in Ohio, and it was by far the best. Roll in shower and low bed height and plenty of roll around space. The table had a large overhang so she could eat from her wheel chair. She is 90% mended now and the chair and back brace have been put away. We will hang on to them, just in case! Plus, down the line all of the braces, and items we collected may be of used to others. A need will present itself.  Art

Breakfast Diva's picture
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05/26/2009

There's a difference between 'wheelchair accessible' and ADA. If the guest has severe mobility problems, then only an ADA room will be good for them. With wheelchair accessible, there are no standards such as toilet height, bed height, space restrictions in bathroom, etc.

If you build from scratch, they you will have to add an ADA room.

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

We do have guests who sleep in the recliners. If we were building from scratch I would definitely have a handicap accessible room. I've stayed in one and it wasn't onerous for a mobile person to get around in. Of course, I wasn't looking at it from the POV of needing to be able to maneuver around with a wheelchair or walker.

Hips and knees, that's what we get a lot of complaints about here. Newly replaced hips and knees that is. This is the 60-something crowd. The 80-something crowd runs around like they're teenagers. The 50-somethings complain the most about stairs and having to walk anywhere.

You could consider building this way for your old age and just let the guests take advantage of it!

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Hollowwood's picture
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10/14/2011

That trip was an eye opener for us. "Walk a mile in someones Walker" is the saying for today! And it did give us the thought to think ahead to a time when that walker might be part of our lives also. In fact, we are using that thinking in our plans for a B&B. If we get our mobility compromised, can we still carry on? So, we will plan to make every thing walker accesable. Maybe I should plan on the Segway of the future that people might be useing instead. Wheel chair racing will be so yesterday when all the Grandmas are racing Segways down the hall!!  Art

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