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Archive for August, 2011

Toilet height – general guide

According to the information on the webpage linked below, most toilets nowadays are presumably too low in height.  They certainly are for me and I’m only a little over five foot. 

http://www.livingmadeeasy.org.uk/scenario.php?csid=327

Sadly I don’t have the option of sitting like the little stickperson in the first (too low)  diagram since my knees barely bend as far as 90 degrees so my legs have to stretch out forwards if I sit down on a low seat.  This compounds the difficulty I have in getting up with my weak/poor quad muscles.  Actually I doubt anyone would find it easy or even possible  to get up from such a position using their legs alone.  Humour me :)  Please try it and let me know.  I know that the only way I can get up onto my feet from such a low position is by lifting my entire body weight using my arms.  Now try this;  keeping your legs in this forward position, find a way to grip the toilet seat(hopefully it’s not loose like so many public ones are!) use just the strength in your hands and arms to lift yourself to your feet.  Whilst doing this briefly imagine what this action might feel like if you had arthritic hands or fingers.  How much effort did this take?  How many times a day could you repeat this?

So this is the challenge I face each time I go away from the accessible facilities in my own home.  It’s a gamble if I go somewhere new.  I suspect the majority of people who face similar problems to me are perhaps older and less inclined to take the risk.  But I have always gone out to clubs and theatres and live music events and I will not give up without making a fuss :)  I shall continue to monitor the situation and report back here with my findings. 

These recent posts have given me the opportunity to get these facts off my chest but realistically the situation will only change for people like me (and perhaps YOU one day!) when society as a whole addresses this issue.  The Equality Act of 2010 should help but are the requirements currently being met? 

http://www.access-auditing.com/disabled-wc.htm

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Accessible Toilets For All

Following on from my two earlier posts on this subject I’m hoping readers will tick a few boxes to give me some feedback.  Thank you in advance to anyone who does.

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The whole point of this blog is to identify difficulties which I, and presumably other disabled people, encounter on a regular basis and then to try and find or develop practical solutions to help make our lives ~ physically easier~, hence the name PhyzzEzee.  Sometimes these solutions will mean persuading ~society~ at large that  reasonable adjustments need to made in the interests of equality of opportunity, and sometimes there may be direct actions which we as individuals can take to improve our own personal situations.

I am aware that so far I have been focusing mainly on one problem  (Accessible Toilets For All) but it’s a complicated subject and I still haven’t said everything I want to on the subject.  However in the meantime, my next post will be about something entirely different :)

And to conclude, my request is that IF you are on facebook you consider adding me, as PhyzzEzee, as a friend, because so far I don’t have many :( 

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002657354035#!/profile.php?id=100002657354035&sk=info

I do also have a FB as BitBat but that is for people who I already know irl, and since the vast majority of them are at least ten to thirty years younger than me I don’t want to bore them on a regular basis with stuff that’s of no current  interest or relevance to most of them.

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not going out

I can imagine a time will come soon when sadly I will no longer be able to continue with my current social life.  I worry when I know that I will be away from home for more than a couple of hours.  Will the toilet(s) wherever I am be accessible to me? 

At my son’s new-build house the toilets that have been installed are only just within my current capabilities. 

This will make visiting for any length of time difficult for me. They had  choices of kitchen and wardrobe fittings and styles, and built in wardrobes in one room, but no choice was offered regarding types of bathroom suites.  Even if it had been, they would probably have opted for the one that everyone currently has.  It took me quite a while to get them to understand how this issue afftects me, and how, without a change in public understanding and installation, how it is virtually insoluble.  If even my own family don’t appreciate this problem how can I ever hope to sway public opinion in general?

Even when a disabled WC is available I can still have problems.  For example, here is a picture of the Disabled WC facility in my local branch of Sainsbury’s.

The pedestal height is designed primarily for the convenience of wheelchair users, who maybe need to slide across from chair to toilet seat or have access to the toilet from their already seated position in their wheelchair . 

Neither the swing rail to the left nor the fixed rail on the wall at the right are any use to help me get to my feet, because of their positioning which is too far apart for me to be able to use both at the same time.  I don’t need something to steady me, but rather something with which I can lift (or pull) myself to my feet.  So, the only benefit here for such as myself is that the room would allow someone to come in and physically help me to sit and stand!

And yet life could be so much easier.  The toilet I have had installed in my own bathroom doesn’t really look much different, does it?  Would the general public really be inconvenienced by the installation of these in more places?

Yet it is 3″ higher.  These three inches might very well represent my freedom to continue to go out and enjoy a normal social life.

I did go out last night.  I knew it would be a struggle but, from previous experience, I knew I could manage the effort, once!  I  had to restrict how much fluid I drank and dash to the loo as soon as  we got home.  I also had to wear what are now referred to as my ‘toilet boots’,  because these boots have a good flat non-slip sole whereas the ones I wore to the same venue last month didn’t!!  It was touch and go for a while as to whether I could get to my feet because my heels slipped on the tiled floor.  It was quite frightening and I could have really hurt myself or had to call for assistance which would have been unbearably embarassing at a music clubnight. 

This post has been a follow on from my earlier post https://phyzzezee.wordpress.com/2011/07/18/penny-pinching-on-the-porcelain/

and another is still to follow!  My mission is “Accessible Toilets For All”.

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