Unfortunately, accessible bathing while traveling is not an option for all persons with a disability. Furthermore, the marketplace has been plagued by several substandard options. Quite often, the lack of viable bathing options when traveling has resulted in some people refusing to travel. They have resigned themselves to staying at home, where they have access to bathing. But, you don’t need to restrict your travel plans. You can choose to still go exploring by taking along your travel bath solution: a FAWSsit™ portable shower.
Some Issues With Hotel Accommodations
Trip planning for individuals with disabilities has traditionally been a serious problem. Hotels that claim to offer accessible rooms may only have a very small percentage of their rooms set up for accessibility. Or, they may only offer a bathtub with a grab bar, or a bench at the far end of the bathtub but water controls at the front. These options are not easy to negotiate for many quadriplegics or paraplegics. For these persons, even if they can get into the tub or onto a bench, they cannot control the water temperature or flow.
Cleaning crews may use cleaning agents that leave a slick residue—a perfect setup for falling– even in disability-friendly rooms. Or a room may have doors that do not allow for easy wheelchair access. You know what I’m talking about.
Identifying Possible Travel Difficulties
Transportation and Access
Ramps to get in and out of vehicles and locations. Transportation of support equipment.
Moving around in a room once you have arrived. Getting in and out of tall beds. Being able to bathe safely, without concerns for falling or scalding. Accessing toileting facilities.
Body temperature control. Preventing and treating skin dyscrasias and body sores. Keeping essential equipment as well as yourself clean and odor-free.
Make Preparations in Advance for Your Travel
To make sure that there are no problems with any of these elements critical to travel, the first thing to do is to ask questions before you travel.
Call ahead to the locations where you plan to stay, or to attractions you intend to visit. Ask very specific questions about:
- wheelchair access into the location;
- size of all door-openings in the room;
- the layout of the room to ensure that there is sufficient maneuvering room;
- bed height;
- light switch heights;
- personal hygiene support.
Other questions to ask include:
- Does the bathroom have enough space to turn around in my wheelchair:
- Does the shower allow me to roll in to bathe?
- Will you need to transfer from your wheelchair?
- Does the hotel provide grab bars or floor grip supports to prevent slipping?
Control Your Environment
The next critical requirement is to create your environment when you can. If you think that you may have difficulty getting into or out of a vehicle or a building, a short, lightweight aluminum ramp section can resolve access issues.
An Innovative Travel Bath Solution
Portable shower stalls can address your bathing needs – even while you travel. The FAWSsit™ Fold Away Wheelchair Shower was designed for residential use (when remodeling or disabled accessibility is not an option) and for travel. This fold away shower stall is completely assembled, but folds flat to less than 8 inches, and weighs less than 30 pounds.
Because it has its wastewater-removal pump, water that flows into the drain pan is pumped out and can be deposited straight down a sink drain. The water source for the showerhead is any faucet, and the shower stall can be set up anywhere within 12 feet of a sink. This makes it ideal for use anywhere there is access to warm water.
Furthermore, our shower stall comes with a hard-sided case on wheels which can be used for easy transport and shipping. And, Care Giver Support Products, manufacturers of the FAWSsit™ portable showers, also sell a travel shower/commode wheelchair in a travel case. This will help to make the entire bathing experience a positive one as your travel. This solution is a great low-cost alternative to home bathroom remodeling. Our FAWSsit™ portable showers require no assembly, tools, or modifications and it costs about 1/10th of an accessible bathroom remodel.
The portable shower and portable shower/commode chair can truly open up the world of travel possibilities for nearly every individual with a disability. And, the best part is that the individual with a disability can maintain both dignity and health by staying clean!
Enjoy Your Travel With No Limits!
If you have concerns about taking any of these items on an airplane, there’s nothing to fear! I checked with three of the large carriers and they all confirmed that there is no problem with checking a portable shower stall in its hard plastic travel case. You can also check your portable shower/commode wheelchair in its travel case. This equipment is considered necessary and is checked in the same manner as any other required durable medical equipment.
Travel and recreation have been very difficult for many people with disabilities. But now, with a clear understanding of the environment you are going to, and the portable equipment to support your basic requirements for daily living, you can travel without concern for your daily needs.