Friday, August 19, 2016

HANDY PUBLIC REST ROOM KIT

RESTROOM KIT FOR THE DISABLED 
IN A CHEAPIE DOLLAR STORE LUNCH PACK, OR A FANNY PACK, LOAD:
Carabiner clip. Have it handy on the strap of the kit.  Use it to hang the pack (or your purse) over the grab rail and have access to your stuff while sitting on the toilet.
Hand sanitizer.  In addition to sanitizing your hands, you can squirt it on the toilet seat and clean it up some.  Not perfect, of course, but better than nothing.  Also, for added protection, I squirt some on a wipe and cleanse areas of my skin that touched the toilet seat.  That may sound a bit extreme, but with flesh eating bacteria around today, extra precaution is a must. 
Extra toilet paper. Lengths torn from a roll, folded in a sandwich size Ziploc in case your stall is lacking. 
Wet wipes. I make my own travel pack by folding them and placing them in a sandwich size Ziploc bag. If you squirt hand sanitizer on a wipe, you can wipe toilet seats, faucet handles, and changing tables. 
Extra set of underpants. I usually reserve ready-to-toss undies for this purpose. Place the extra set in a Ziploc, in case you need a way to transport soiled ones back home.   
Plastic bags.  I keep them for a myriad of uses, soiled clothing, trash (in case there's not a waste receptacle in the stall, to seal hand sanitizer to prevent leakage into the rest of the pack, etc.).  I usually use empty bread or produce bags for this so that I'm green - any bags that are not perforated in any way. 

FOR A MORE EXTENSIVE CAR / TRAVEL KIT
INTO A MEDIUM DUFFLE BAG, OR OPAQUE STORAGE BIN WITH LID, LOAD:
Duplicates of the fanny pack supplies.  Be careful to rotate the moist wipes, though in a pinch if they are dried out you can drizzle a little water into the Ziploc to remoisten them. 
A couple of disposable adult diapers.  If you're out in the middle of nowhere, they are better than soiling your car seats. 
A bedpan.  Keep it in plastic bags (several layered) within the kit.  Okay, this may sound icky, but again, if you are out in the middle of nowhere, and that taco you ate in the last town you visited it becoming volatile, you can use a bedpan in the back seat of your vehicle (since most disabled people are unable to go squat behind a bush).  They sell bedpan liners these days, but you can also take an adult diaper with the leg elastic snipped so you can spread it flat.  Line the bedpan with it, to absorb the liquid waste and keep it contained to reduce instances of spillage. Place a waterproof pad or towel on the seat beneath the bedpan just in case.  Use the bedpan, and fold the waste and used toilet tissue, wipes, etc. up in the diaper lining the pan.  Place the diaper in a plastic bag (I would triple or even quadruple bags for this use) and dispose of it in a restroom trash receptacle as soon as possible.  I repeat, icky, but not as icky as projectile diarrhea on your car seat. 
When you're finished, use hand sanitizer on a moist wipe to thoroughly clean the bedpan and yourself.  Place the bedpan in doubled plastic bag and clean it more thoroughly when soap, water, and straight alcohol are available. 
In the car kit, you can keep a full container of moist wipes, a spray bottle with alcohol (for accident clean up) a change of underwear (and shorts/slacks) in case of leakage, several adult diapers, protective waterproof pads, plastic bags of assorted sizes, and some old pillowcases or towels to cover the cars windows if they are not tinted.  (Drop the window half an inch, place the towel/pillowcase end across the top of the window, raise the window enough to hold the towel/pillowcase in place like a curtain.) These can also be used as seat protectors when using the bedpan, though waterproof pads would be more effective.  Latex gloves are handy when cleaning up the bedpan and it's lining. 
If you're using public restrooms and need arms on the toilet to push yourself up, a walker, aimed toward the toilet tank works, especially if the toilet is not handicapped height.  I have a whole separate article about using a walker in this way.  Meeting the Public Restroom Challenge. While most public restrooms are equipped with grab rails, most private homes are not. 
That about does it for my potty-away-from-home ideas.  Feel free to comment with hacks of your own!  I love creativity concerning disability challenges!