What’s it like to have assistance to use the toilet?

Guest Blogger Carl Tilson talks about toilet access and assistance.

carl tilsonCarl can be found on the web on his  Facebook page

This article is available for use by DMD Pathfinders  [http://www.dmdpathfinders.org.uk] – an organisation which promotes choice and control and quality of life for teenagers and adults with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) in the UK.

Carl tells us…

As if being in a wheelchair is not dignified enough not being able to find a suitable accessible toilet or shall we say bathroom when you feel desperate to go is most unpleasant and embarrassing not to say the least. A lot of places are not wheelchair accessible however the places that are and have been made accessible by having a ramp to enter the building don’t tend to consider making toilets accessible.  Do they think that being in a wheelchair means we don’t need to use the toilet? Funny how people consider one thing then completely forget the other very important thing connected to the first thing.

A convenient solution

I have found a solution due to the many times I’ve been somewhere with my carers and the venue has no accessible toilet, that solution is a latex sheave which is like a condom that goes on the penis that is attached to a leg bag under clothing. Sitting on the toilet is impossible and the places where it is accessible, they have accessible toilets but they don’t have hoists or toilet frames so if you are a woman it’s even harder to find an accessible toilet. Having a sheave what I like to call a ‘Convene’ short for convenience makes life trying to find a toilet much more convenient. All the carer has to do, to empty the convene via the leg bag is to flip the valve down and put it into a bottle, however the bottle I use is called a urine bag, its discreet and can also stretch like an elastic balloon. Once finished my carer will then take the bottle to the ordinary toilet to empty out its contents and clean the urine bag out while I wait outside the toilet.

The biggest overall issue is sitting on the toilet most people think everyone who uses a wheelchair has upper body strength which is not the case for many who use wheelchairs people tend to not consider people who have nerve and muscle tissue deficiencies not everyone has lost feeling in their legs or had spinal injuries.


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