Monday, April 6, 2015

Are the hotel beds getting higher?

You may think it's funny. I dread getting on a bed whenever I stay at a hotel. My knees are spastic making me much lower when I stand, so I can't simply sit down on it or easily transfer from a wheelchair. Every time I try it becomes quite an exercise. Ten years ago I would just throw myself on it and crawl up  on while grabbing onto a mattress with my fists and trying find something I can leverage my feet against and push  against. Recently I discovered that I struggle much more and I wondered if it was the spasticity in my knees that increased making me "smaller" or have the hotel beds actually gotten higher. I figured it must be a combination of both. I don't stay at hotels more often than once every few years so I can't really compare. My bed at home was always much lower and those at hotels were always somewhat high. Even at the so called wheelchair accessible rooms the one thing that was always standard in height - which is strange given that it has things like a roll in shower. And the question becomes how do people transfer in and out of these things. And I know that many hotels you can ask for an "accessible" box frame and mattress, but shouldn't they be offered by default at the "wheelchair friendly" rooms at least? Over the last year or so I've stayed with friends in two-bed rooms. Luckily they were there, so they could help me. Either by grabbing my legs as I climb it or by pulling me by my hands from the other side of the bed. If I'm by myself I wait until my muscles are fully relaxed before I try to stand and I put my shoes on to give myself that extra inch. With multiple tries, getting the right angle I'm usually able to get it, but getting a good night sleep should not be like training for the Olympics. Either way, with the mattress towering over a wheelchair I often wondered- how do people manage? Not everybody is able to stand a bit like I am. And what made me think about it again is a lunch I had with a friend of mine in a wheelchair. He told me that over the last ten years the hotel beds actually "got taller" making it much harder for everyone with mobility issue. He then asked a good question: Why? How is this safe for anyone? If you fall out of your bed at night that's a bit of a way to go. You get easily get injured. And what's the benefit? To protect us from critters that live on the floor? Maybe it's so the mattress is more plushy, but then, why does the box spring needs to be so high? One of these days I'll ask hotel industry experts about it, maybe they can give me a good reason for it.

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