Going to The Bathroom in Public: What Wheelchair Users Should Know

December 22, 2015 | 9:15 am | By Pants Up Easy


Humans have a bit of an obsession with the toilet and related bodily functions. Seriously, just think about it. How many jokes have you heard concerning poop? I bet you’ve heard one in the last month. Or what about all the euphemisms for the toilet? The John, the commode, the throne, the porcelain god. And what might be the most popular emoji of the moment? The poop emoji. Real mature, America!

Another concern for many folks is using the toilet in public. Some people are practically incapable of sitting on a public John. But when you’re a wheelchair user, this mundane task becomes even more challenging. Here’s what you need to know about using the restroom in public:

It’s well worth it to wait for the disabled stall

It’s fairly typical for people to use the disabled stall in a restroom for the extra space, regardless of whether or not they’re disabled. But if you find this space occupied, we recommend that you wait. Disabled stalls are required by law to have some support grips, which will definitely come in handy. And that extra space will allow you greater maneuverability when you ascend or descend the toilet.

Always prioritize safety

I know it’s potentially embarrassing to take

a long time in the restroom, but this isn’t the time to be shy. Don’t feel rushed and take your time in there. Because if you’re overly hasty, you could end up falling or having some other kind of accident. What if you end up hitting your head on the toilet? Even a relatively tame fall will require you to get help, and that would be awkward at best.

Wardrobe choices can make life easier

We always recommend that wheelchair users consider wearing pants or shorts with elastic waistbands. One of the biggest problems with using the restroom is pulling your pants up afterward. But this is much easier with more relaxed waistbands. Even if you need to dress up, don’t worry: there are actually plenty of trousers with flexible waistbands.

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