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Thread: Hotel beds too high, what to do?

  1. #1

    Hotel beds too high, what to do?

    I recently planned to go to Chicago but my family ended up going to Yosemite instead. We stayed at the Yosemite view Lodge at their accessible room, which frankly has terrible noise insulation, and I had a lot of trouble transferring onto their beds. I would estimate that they were maybe 4 inches higher than my wheelchair seat.

    We brought a Hoyer lift because I?m quadriplegic and cannot transfer on my own but the bottom of the bed didn?t have enough space for the lift to roll underneath. We ended up getting a cutting board from their tourist shop to use as a sliding board. It was pretty much the same.

    Does anybody have any advice on what to do in a situation like this? Are there tips and tricks on transferring that can help me or should I be making specific arrangements for lower bed Heights? We didn?t have an easily portable lift either. Are there any recommendations? I was hoping for something that could fold up into a suitcase or something.

    My next power wheelchair I?m going to get the height elevation option which would have been helpful in the situation but I currently don?t have it so I need other advice for future travels.

  2. #2
    Unfortunately the ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) does not cover the height of motel/hotel beds. Due to this hotels thought the European style high beds would be great, and they probably are great for aging walker people who can simply back up to the bed and flop in, then easily flop out.

    I have no solution for you except I would love it if you would call the manager or assistant manager when you encounter this, insist they come to your room and demonstrate the issue and ask them to lower the bed. Perhaps they will take out the frame or maybe have the bed made even higher to accommodate the legs of your lift to roll under the bed.
    It is my understanding that some disability groups are working on this problem and we all can help by pointing it out when we can. We are an elderly couple both in chairs and literally stopped traveling when those beds showed up at motels, I think about 20 years ago. When we sent a complaint letter we were sent a complementary room for our next stay and I tossed it in the wastebasket.
    Hope you don't stop traveling and that you make a fuss about this.

  3. #3
    Sorry this happened to you, but the following is the procedure that most people have found works the best for this:

    1. Search on-line and through local disability organizations for recommended lodging that is accessible. Check out accessible travel organizations and web sites such as https://wheelchairtravel.org/, https://www.curbfreewithcorylee.com/, http://www.gimponthego.com/, or https://www.accomable.com/.

    You will see many people here post about this, so use us as a resource. Independent Living Centers sometimes have this information. Such organizations as Access Northern California: http://accessnca.org/contact/, or Accessible San Diego https://www.facebook.com/AccessSD/ can be a great resource.

    2. Call when booking the room directly to the hotel (not to the reservation service) and ask to speak to a manager or assistant manager. Don't get pushed off to the desk staff.

    3. Ask for specifics on the "accessible" room. Any steps to reach it? Door width to room and bathroom? Bathroom configuration (grab bars, roll-in shower, shower stall, or tub)? Toilet height (floor to bowl top)? Height from floor to bottom of sink counter? In bed area, space between beds (if more than one)? Space between foot of bed and wall or other furniture? Floor to top of mattress height? Is it a platform bed, or if not, how many inches between the floor and bottom of the bed?

    If the manager does not know, ask him/her to go get these measurements and call you back, or you call them in an hour (for example). Pictures are a plus if they can e-mail you photos of the room's accessible features.

    4. Once you have found a room that works for you, ask to have that room "blocked" on your reservation. This makes the reservation for a specific room. Otherwise you could be put in a totally different room of the same price range when you arrive.

    5. Write the corporate offices if you don't find an acceptable room, or if the room is not as described to you. Unfortunately, as above, this is not technically an ADA violation, so the chances of being able to file an ADA complaint or suit are very low. Write the corporate offices if you do find a good room, and thank and praise them for having true accessible accommodations.

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  4. #4
    There is an excellent portable - compact and lightweight. It wouldn’t fit in a suitcase but does have a tidy carrying case of its own. I don’t know the model number, but a reasonable DME vendor should be able to find it for you.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by annev308 View Post
    There is an excellent portable - compact and lightweight. It wouldn’t fit in a suitcase but does have a tidy carrying case of its own. I don’t know the model number, but a reasonable DME vendor should be able to find it for you.
    Portable what?

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  6. #6
    I appreciate the problem but from the opposite perspective. As a c3 quad I need a higher bed so my carers can wash, dress me and do bowels, it is back breaking for them bent over a low bed. As you found out you need clearance under the bed for a hoist which I always need. I travel for work and always contact the hotel for dimensions before setting off, you need to make sure that you speak directly with the hotel not any central reservation team, I had that once and ended up in a bed jacked up with reams of copier paper.

    I always rebook a good hotel, they will remember me and arrange the room as I want it. About to go back to one I use regularly and admin manager has already been in touch asking for any new requirements. I now rent a hospital bed and air mattress for a lot of my trips, not cheap but non of my travel is with 2 support workers to pay for so bed/mattress isn't that much of an additional cost plus we have a government funded scheme to help disabled work which covers costs incurred over being able bodied so I get some of it repaid. Still more than I would like to have to pay myself.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    Sorry this happened to you, but the following is the procedure that most people have found works the best for this:

    1. Search on-line and through local disability organizations for recommended lodging that is accessible. Check out accessible travel organizations and web sites such as https://wheelchairtravel.org/, https://www.curbfreewithcorylee.com/, http://www.gimponthego.com/, or https://www.accomable.com/.

    You will see many people here post about this, so use us as a resource. Independent Living Centers sometimes have this information. Such organizations as Access Northern California: http://accessnca.org/contact/, or Accessible San Diego https://www.facebook.com/AccessSD/ can be a great resource.

    2. Call when booking the room directly to the hotel (not to the reservation service) and ask to speak to a manager or assistant manager. Don't get pushed off to the desk staff.

    3. Ask for specifics on the "accessible" room. Any steps to reach it? Door width to room and bathroom? Bathroom configuration (grab bars, roll-in shower, shower stall, or tub)? Toilet height (floor to bowl top)? Height from floor to bottom of sink counter? In bed area, space between beds (if more than one)? Space between foot of bed and wall or other furniture? Floor to top of mattress height? Is it a platform bed, or if not, how many inches between the floor and bottom of the bed?

    If the manager does not know, ask him/her to go get these measurements and call you back, or you call them in an hour (for example). Pictures are a plus if they can e-mail you photos of the room's accessible features.

    4. Once you have found a room that works for you, ask to have that room "blocked" on your reservation. This makes the reservation for a specific room. Otherwise you could be put in a totally different room of the same price range when you arrive.

    5. Write the corporate offices if you don't find an acceptable room, or if the room is not as described to you. Unfortunately, as above, this is not technically an ADA violation, so the chances of being able to file an ADA complaint or suit are very low. Write the corporate offices if you do find a good room, and thank and praise them for having true accessible accommodations.

    (KLD)
    I agree 100% When we are planning a trip I'm on the computer and phone for hours searching for a hotel that will work for us. I'm a c3c4 quad. We use a Hoyer Advance. It takes time and effort but you will find something. Also ask here. A lot of us travel.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Sythellri View Post
    We didn?t have an easily portable lift either. Are there any recommendations? I was hoping for something that could fold up into a suitcase or something.
    Options include the Molift Smart, the Hoyer Advance, or the Take-Along Lift. None are going to fit in a suitcase though.

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  9. #9
    Portable lift. Sorry! I really like the molift - and it turns out it’s the molift smart.

  10. #10
    Try to be as flexible as possible...if you are a traveler and you need specific needs let the manager or gm or head of reservations know.

    Get your conversations documented via email but always expect something to happen and have plan bs to fall back on.

    Ask them to send you pictures of that specific room and if you need measurements ask them if they can do that for you.

    A lot of hotels have beds on platforms to make it more easy to clean. So look at pull out sofas or roll aways.

    Not as comfortable but something to fall back on if needed.

    I would also start taking a transfer board.

    Last follow up with the hotel a week or two before you arrive and post about your success stories for others to learn from!

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