People with long-term disabilities know the importance of specifying that they want an accessible room upon making a reservation at a hotel, but if you're traveling in the wake of having a hip or knee replacement surgery, you might not think of this request in advance. These surgeries are increasingly common; each year, approximately 500,000 knee replacement surgeries take place, as well as more than 175,000 surgeries to replace hips. Although patients will stay at home recuperating as much as possible in the weeks and months following the surgery, you might occasionally find yourself in a scenario in which you need to travel. If so, making sure you're booked into an accessible hotel room will greatly improve the ease of your stay. Here are some reasons why.
Wide, Slow-Closing Doors
Although the makeup of accessible rooms varies by hotel, you'll often encounter an ideal door situation in rooms of this nature. Accessible rooms regularly have doors that are much wider than the standard hotel room doors, making it easier to enter when you're a little slower because of the use of a wheelchair, walker or even a cane. Additionally, these doors are made to shut very slowly; the premise is that the slow-shutting action will give someone with limited mobility time to easily enter and exit the room, so you won't have to worry about getting pinched by the door.
You want to be sure you can bathe with as little difficulty as possible, and the bathroom setup in an accessible room can help you meet this goal. Rooms of this nature typically have showerheads that are removable, rather than affixed to the wall of the shower stall. This allows the user to hold the device in one hand while washing. Additionally, you'll likely notice that there's no lip around the edge of the shower. This means that you won't have to take a step to get in. Many accessible rooms are also equipped with waterproof chairs that you can use to roll into the shower so that your wheelchair or walker doesn't get wet.
Accessible rooms are often located closest to the elevators in many lodging hotels. This is ideal if you've recently gone through a hip or knee replacement surgery and getting around is a challenge. The room location means that you won't have to navigate long hallways, which is especially welcome if you're tired or in pain after a long day of travel.