Stroke Smart Magazine
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Portable Bathroom Products for Your Holiday Travels
by Candy B. Harrington
There's no place like home, especially when you're talking about access. That goes double in the bathroom, where many stroke survivors have specialized grab bars, lever faucets and raised toilets. And even though most hotels have accessible guest rooms, the access features in those rooms can vary. Also, since most private residences are not built to be accessible, staying with family and friends can present access challenges as well. So what's a traveler to do? Pack along adaptive products to make your home-away-from-home more accessible.
Door and Faucet Converters
Change standard faucet handles and doorknobs to accessible levers in just minutes, with Great Grips faucet and door grips. Simply slip the plastic grips over the existing hardware and once inaccessible knobs now can be operated with a closed fist, elbow or a single finger. The packable grips are available from Great Grips at (800) 346-5662 or www.greatgrips.com, for just $7.95/pair.
Hanging Toiletry Kit
Try a handy toiletry kit that hangs on the doorknob. With this type of kit, wheelchair-users can easily access their products. The kit is perfect for cruises or other places where counter space is limited. Priced at $28, one such kit is available from Travel Smith (item 1572) at (800) 950-1600 or www.travelsmith.com.
Portable Grab Bars
Portable grab bars (pictured above) feature two heavy duty suction cups for quick and easy installation and removal. They are especially useful if you require grab bars on a specific side or at a specific height. Lightweight, yet extremely sturdy, Grabit bars can handle up to 200 pounds of pull strength, which is 120 pounds more than the average person can generate. Priced at $69.95, they can be purchased at www.grabitonline.com or by calling (800) 542-5076.
Portable Transfer Bench/Commode Chair
Compact, yet sturdy, this combination bath transfer bench and commode chair folds up to fit in a small case that complies with FAA requirements for carry-on luggage. The Nuprodx multiCHAIR 3000tx is small enough to fit under a wheelchair, yet strong enough to support 300 pounds. It is available from the manufacturer at (415) 472-1699 or www.nuprodx.com for $1,295.
Light Switch Extender
This 12-inch light switch extension handle attaches easily to any standard toggle light switch, with just two screws to the cover plate. After installation, the clear plastic arm extends down and allows folks with a limited reach to operate the switch with a closed hand or even an arm. Not only are they easy to install, but also they're affordable at $7.99/pair. The extenders are available from Dynamic Living at (888) 940-0605 or www.dynamic-living.com. Ask for item DL2008.
And finally, don't leave home without at least one suction cup hook — the perfect solution for those out-of-reach bathroom robe hooks and towel bars. At just $2.49/pair at Ace Hardware Stores, you can afford to pack along several pairs on your next trip.
Make sure your concerns about getting around the bathroom do not prevent you from visiting your loved ones during the holidays! With a little extra work before you go, you can be assured that your only travel problems will be getting along with Aunt Hilda.
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