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Why Do I Always Get The Handicapped Room At The Hotel?

Updated on May 9, 2011

Why Do I Always Get The Handicapped Room In Hotels? - Don't Get Me Started!

It just never seems to fail. Whenever I check in at a front desk all seems fine but then I get to my room and suddenly discover that the entire bathroom is the shower floor of that the light switches are a foot lower (and while I'm short, I don't need them this low) and then it dawns on me like the light I had to stoop over to switch on, they have me the handicapped room again. Why do I always get the handicapped room in hotels? - Don't Get Me Started!

Before anyone gets in an uproar thinking that I'm saying that the handicapped rooms aren't nice or shouldn't exist, etc. I'm not saying any of those things. But for those of us who are not in need of such amenities (shall we say) it just makes you feel as though you're in a hospital room. (And to go off on a tangent for a moment, shouldn't they be called handicapable rooms at this point? Isn't that the PC thing to say?)

What I found odd about the hotel I'm in at the moment is that it seems a little half-assed accessible. Like the light switches are lower but the counters (it's one of those corporate places with a mini-kitchen in it) is at usual height. I don't see how anyone in a wheel chair could possibly use this counter or hoist themselves up on the stools they have for it (making you feel the closest you'll ever be to getting on the Regis and Kelly show). In fact, I think if you wheeled past the counter that chances are you'd hit your head so hard on it that you would really be handicapped from the clonk on your head.

The bathroom is just bizarre. I don't understand it but I suddenly want to be wearing a paper gown with my ass out more in this room than any other. (And no, I'm not sharing a fantasy here, well not for me anyway.) It's so hospital-like that I can only help as I'm sitting on the toilet (which is so high that my short legs dangle until all circulation is lost) think that maybe someone will be coming in to give me a sponge bath or my meds in a little paper cup. (They never come) I use the metal rails that line the room like a life line (or ballet barre - whatever mood I'm in at the moment) to propel myself about the room. When the metal bars took me to the bathtub I became even more confused. What you discover before you even get in the shower is that there is really no place to put your towel. I eventually ended up closing the door and using the hook on the back of it but it was some distance away and left me wondering what the handicapped would do...also, it was at normal height. Now this is not one of the handicapped rooms that have the entire floor as the floor of the shower, no this one still has a shower/tub so you'd have to lift yourself up and over to get into the thing. But that wasn't the worst part. The worst part is that in addition to the spigot that runs into the tub and the overhead showerhead, there's a shower hose (I guess in case you bring an elephant with you to bathe or want to give yourself a colonic) For those of you who think I'm stupid - yes, I get what the shower hose is for but what I don't get is the fact that there are more knobs to turn (with no information on them as to what they're for or how to use them) to make the various options happen. So as anyone would do, I just start turning knobs to see what will happen.

First, the water is just running in the tub, I pull up on the metal button on the spout and nothing changes as far as I can see. Then there's another knob so I turn it and almost immediately the shower hose comes to life, spraying everywhere and dancing off its hook like it's auditioning for the Rockettes. Quickly I turn the knob the other direction and lo and behold, water is now coming from the showerhead. Success. And so I showered and held onto one of the rails in the shower throwing my leg behind me in a mock exercise (once again hitting the shower hose making me paranoid that it's going to come to life, wrap around my leg and I'll be in a B horror film titled, "Snakes In A Shower.") I survived the bathroom but then it was back into the rest of the room.

As I looked around I really had to wonder what exactly made this room so accessible for the handicapped? I'm sure they paid someone a bazillion dollars to come in and tell them how high to make the toilet (so that a 5'5' man's feet dangle like he's playing Edith Ann in an old Laugh-In sketch) but why do they pick and choose what they do? Should there really be a lip on the tub? How do people get themselves up and over? Or is it supposed to be one of those rooms that challenges the all ready physically challenged guests like some sort of reality show? Is someone thinking, "Okay we'll give them the low light switches but they'll never survive the tub challenge!"

Although I always seem to wind up in one, I'm thankful that I don't need a handicapped room but from being in so many, I think I'm more thankful because of all of the inconsistencies you find in these rooms. I'm sure there's an organization somewhere that monitors and helps hotels with these kinds of things so I think that they should either help them more or the hotels should be asking for more help.

Thing is with all my paranoia, there's a part of me that thinks these people at the front desk are making some sort of commentary on me when they put me in these rooms. How can they see how mentally crippled I am so fast? Does someone call ahead? Am I really just paranoid? And why do I always get the handicapped room in hotels? - Don't Get Me Started!




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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 10 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      This can be quite a problem, can't it?! Everyone deserves an appropriate room or a big discount if it's not equipped appropriately for you imo.

      My friend who lived in China for two years told me that most of the bathrooms she used were "all shower" - no railings or any other assits, just all shower. She said she could shower while she was on the toilet but it truly was a safety hazrd of slipping on the floors. The other bathrooms had no showers and only a hole in the floor with a ceramic ring out it containing foot rests,all for squatting.

    • Guru-C profile image

      Cory Zacharia 10 years ago

      Dear Scott: A couple of months ago, my building had a power outage and my husband and I checked into a Fairfield Inn on Collins Avenue around 10 PM with no reservations. They gave us a handiable room with a lovely view of the ocean. As you describe, there was no demarcation between the shower and the rest of the floor. It makes me wonder what would happen to a person who was not in a wheelchair but who could easily slip...

      And what if, just if, a wheelchair bound person checked in right after us?