WHY are Waiting Rooms NOT Accessible?

WAGSofSCIWAGSofSCI Posts: 64Moderator Moderator
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I don't know how to put this lightly but every time we go to a Dr's appointment, walk in's, campus offices, actually ANY waiting room where you sit and wait for someone to come get you for an appointment- there is NO space for a wheelchair. I know this sounds crazy and for those of us not in a chair, well, you've probably never even noticed this. But, that matter of the fact is that every single place we have gone to to wait, Dan sit's in the middle feeling like a car in the middle of the parking lot. People walk around him, he's bumping into the "patient" chairs around him. It's very sad and frustrating. Have anyone else experienced anything like this? What are your thoughts?

Elena 
Your WAGS of SCI
(Elena and Brooke)

Comments

  • ZcollieZcollie Posts: 68Moderator Moderator
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    I really agree and relate to this. It is funny because I have never really thought a lot about this before. But when I do go to a Dr's appointment I am sticking out and in the middle of the walk way. It is even more difficult and embarrassing when I am in my big power chair. If I try to turn I run into the tables and chairs. I can only go forward and back most of the time. It would be nice if those offices left an open section for people in wheelchairs to back into while they wait. Makes sense!
  • Monica.TMonica.T Posts: 27Member
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    I completely agree! Doctors offices should know better (Charlie has 10 doctors); None of them have space in their waiting room for a wheelchair. And worse - only 1 of his doctor's offices have a wheelchair accessible stall in the bathroom! (His eye doctor) They all have handicap bathroom stalls but slapping a handicap sign on the door and throwing up a wider stall door with a single rail (in my opinion) does not make a stall wheelchair usable! Those stalls are barely wide enough to fit a wheelchair into! In my opinion only the stalls that actually have enough room to move the wheelchair beside the toilet for easy transfer are the only truly handicap accessible bathrooms.
  • BrookeUBrookeU Posts: 87Moderator Moderator
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    On a somewhat similar note, restaurants with barely any room to get to a table always make my brother feel like he's such a bother. I can't tell you how many times the host or hostess has asked people to get up for a second to let him through and apologized to the people for it, right in front of my brother. If you ask me, there should be no apology...it only makes him feel like more of a bother. Any decent person should be happy to get up for two seconds if it means someone else can enjoy a meal at the same restaurant. No apology necessary.
  • ZcollieZcollie Posts: 68Moderator Moderator
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    @BrookeU Going off what you said, I use a power chair and it is always annoying for me when I go out to eat and the tables are not high enough. Whenever I roll up to a table when I go out my knees always hit and I can't get under. It is really embarrassing for me when I cant get under the table and stick out in the walk way. I also agree with what you said. 
  • AskNurseLindaAskNurseLinda Posts: 31Moderator, Information Specialist Information Specialist
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    Absolutely, I always count the spots available for mobility equipment in any waiting room and make suggestions. One time, someone actually made a change but that was atypical. When dining, a table near the entrance is usually provided which avoids the navigation through a tight dining room but does not allow for much privacy.
    I wonder how well a polite business etiquette card would be received? So many people in the business world just don't think about mobility issues. They are simply unaware. I think most people would be more considerate, if they were educated about needs. Nurse Linda

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  • BrookeUBrookeU Posts: 87Moderator Moderator
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    @Zcollie, also relevant is that I’ve seen a lot of restaurants with only high-top tables with bar stools. And another issue I’m sure you’ve noticed is when tables have something (like a thick post in the middle) that prevents someone who uses a wheelchair from being able to sit with their legs fully under the table. Seems like aesthetics come before accessibility with a lot of restaurants.
  • ZcollieZcollie Posts: 68Moderator Moderator
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    @BrookeU Yes! that to. Very annoying and frustrating... 
  • skosillsskosills Posts: 7Member
    First Comment
    Waiting rooms, also lab or other equipment lots of times. Dexa scan tables and Xray tables way too high and not able to raise up and down.
    My sister is a doctor and her rooms are not accessible either - patient tables that deviate from the normal height and configuration are more expensive so she doesn't have any.
    Sometimes it's been difficult to get assigned to wheelchair accessible hospital rooms. Can you believe that? The intake people don't even check, we just end up in a random regular room and oh, look, he can't do his bathroom routine. That one is the most irritating.
    Second most - the last time my husband was on a scale was when he was in a lab experiment more than ten years ago. The only place we've ever been where he could be weighed on a scale was the VA hospital doing the study.
    My husband is pretty assertive about his personal space - if the chairs are movable he'll just sort of toss it aside so he can fit. Then he's in the space and whoever else is around has to move the regular chair out of the way.
    Sandra
    Peer Mentor for able bodied care givers
    Wife of T7 Complete Para
  • Monica.TMonica.T Posts: 27Member
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    Update from last post - Charlie just had his most recent visit to his GI Doctor, since his last visit she had moved to her new location; I was impressed with how wheelchair friendly Dr. Fran and her staff had tried to make everything. The parking lot has more handicap parking spaces, 3 of which are side-lift accessible. Inside there is no carpet, wide hallways, huge fully wheelchair accessible bathrooms, water fountains in three heights with no under pipes to bang knees against. The waiting room is wide open and the exam room was spacious too. Most wonderful was that she now has a wheelchair scale! The only issue was the exam table but Dr. Fran told us she plans to get a height adjustable table soon. :) / My suggestion for anyone facing these issues is to politely mention the problems to your doctor. On Charlie's last visit Dr. Fran had told us she was moving into a newer part of the building and asked if there was anything that would make visits more comfortable for Charlie; (I'm sure she asked her other patients the same question), I told Dr.Fran that wheelchair accessible bathrooms would be nice. Dr,Fran and her staff went well beyond just updating the bathrooms. Sometimes those around us don't know what to do because they don't share the same experience, and many want to help, they just need a nudge in the right direction. :)
  • BrookeUBrookeU Posts: 87Moderator Moderator
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    @Monica.T, that's awesome that she was so receptive to your thoughts and suggestions!
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