teal's Blog

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staying at the hotel


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the poor place is probably still regretting having me stay there, i pointed out all the things wrong with their "accessible" room - obviously they couldn't fix the too thick carpet, the bathroom being too narrow for the transfer bench, toilet bars on the wrong side, kitchen too narrow, etc;but i had them moving furniture, etc before id agree to stay - they took out the bedside tables, moved the floor lamp from the middle of the room to the corner bbehindthe bed, moved the bed as far toward the wall as they could, took out the coffee table, turned the couch around and pushed it against the wall - as a result i could now transfer to the couch if i wanted to, and had room to both get into the bed and open the door far enough to wheel into the bathroom - we moved the phone from an unreachable corner to onto the chair where i could reach it - my friend went to home depot and got long dimmer switches that we plugged the lamp by the bed into and could have the switch on the bed where i could reach it (i LOVE those things, tthey'reperfect for people who cant stand and reach high lamp switches or lean over tables etc, may not be why they made them;but whatever works, theres also a tiny light on the switch so you can find them in the dark, a must for a live alone stroke survivor in my condition...) i was lucky that the nurses had been worried about me and had smuggled me a bunch of bbedbathpackets and no rinse shampoo so that was a workaround for the inaccessible shower... the toilet i just got creative with, sort of sat down at an angle so i could use my right hand to bbalance getting back up was more like a twisted pullup kind of motion, awkward;but it worked - i mmust'vescared them some that first night, next day they replaced the range with one with the controls in the front not the back - wwasn'tperfect and i still had situations over the next month where i needed to call the desk.... lol, "hi, this is room 134, i need someone to come shut the door to my room because i cant reach it from outside" "hi,this is room 134, i need someone to get me into my room cause i cant steer up the hill in the rain" hi, this is room 134,i need a couple of strong people to help me back into my wheelchair from the floor" ok, that lasstlasthappened 4 times that month;but in the last year ive oi've fallen maybe 6 timestimes inyear and a half after (one just yesterday (wwasn'thurt, and was a very funny fall and for an odd reason didndidn'td help getting yp, wupl have a seperseparates posting later) so there has been improvement.... food wwasn'ta problem cause i wwasn'teating at all at the time - transportation was a problem though, the local paratransit was hard to get accepted to, or at least time consuming, i had to fill out an ampapplicationr an application... have that one signed by a dr, mail it in and wait for a personal interview (to which you have to find your own transportation other than them) then wait for approval - so during that whole process i spent a mint on cabs to dr's, and therapy appointments, and had to deal with some really nasty drivers, when id call the cab co i always said i was in a chair and that i could transfer to the front seat of a regular car as long as they had room for the chair in the trunk or basbackseat"no problem, we can accaccomodateu" well, they forgot to tell the drivers, one yelled at me that i couldn't sit in the front seat, one had no room in his trunk, one said"i ddidn'tknow i needed to clean the cab" and oonekept saying "you need to ask for the wheelchair van, i cant take you" of course the one time they sent the van, actually more like a station wagon wwitha ramp on the back, it wasn't a solid ramp;but two thin wheel only width ones... not at the right width for my chair, so the van guy tells me to always ask for a sedan and the sedan tells me to always ask for a van - i felt so wanted.... and for this i was paying $30-$40 dollars each way for what i now pay $3.50 if i go paratransit and $1.50 if i take regular buses, must cost extra for the personal abuse, lol.... next time ill tell about my first post in-patient appts or possibly the itch-fest or falling fiascos, so many choices... it was just a "lovely" month, lol

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Teal,

 

Good for you for making the hotel make the necessary changes for you!

 

I just want to pass on a little trick because it sounds like you don't know about it: If you tie a 3-4 foot cord or rope to a doornob, it can be used to pull a door shut behind you from your wheelchair.

 

Jean

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Guest lwisman

Posted

It has occured to me that there are several problems with accessible rooms. The biggest is that what individuals need really varies. Some are in wheelchairs and need items that will work with a wheelchair. Some only have use of their right side. Some their left side. Some can walk but need lots of help getting in and out of shower. I could go on and on, but you get what I mean. It has got to be really difficult to provide a room which is truly helpful to everyone. And these rooms have to work for all kinds of disabilities not just stroke survivors.

 

Another problem is that hotel emplyees seldom have any personal experience with accessibility problems. They have none themselves nor have they experienced any in their family. It is therefore very difficult for them to understand the need.

 

I have been told by several people in different countries who work in construction, government agencies, etc that there are laws. I don't know what they are but it seems like they are followed minimally.

 

There needs to be more education as well as tougher laws. Incidentally there was an article in my local paper this week about a camp which is being held for able bodied kids. They are put in wheelchairs for a week and given problems to solve. One attendee's comment at the end was to the effect that it was very hard but he learned that disabled kids are just like everyone else. They just have more stuff to deal with. Interesting.

 

My biggest peeve with accessible rooms is that 95% are smoking. I hate having to run everything through the washer when I get home because it now reeks of cigarette smoke.

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