Almost all hotels have converted to beds on a platform rather than the original metal bed frame! You CANNOT get a Hoyer lift under them! No one thinks about this problem and I bet this site doesn’t either!
Actually it is brought up here quite often and has always been a concern of the members here.
For what it’s worth, I stayed at a Hilton Garden Inn in Washington DC last month in an accessible king room and the bed surface was low to the floor for easy transfer from my wheelchair and was open underneath so a lift could be accommodated.
Thank you so much for taking the time to post in the forum and for sharing this important question. We do get hotel bookings all the time where people ask us to coordinate bed issues just like this to make sure that the hoyer lift will fit under the bed. I’m actually the founder of this site and my mother used a hoyer lift so we are all quite familiar with this issue.
We hope you will consider booking with us where we can even request pictures from the hotel with a measuring tape to address the concern about the space under the bed.
This will be a God send then! And will book with you from here on out! Tackling this issue was such a headache that I’d all but given up. My hats off to you!!
We stayed at a Hilton Garden Inn in Pennsylvania and the bed was on a bed frame. The manager said that was true for all the Garden Inns but obviously I don’t know if that’s the case. I wrote to corporate and told them that this is such an important issue they should put it in the description of their accessible rooms.
Department of justice over see hotel ADA rooms. We need an email so we can become loud and clear ! I’m staying in an Aspen in Sitka Alaska and the manager is going to have the wood frame removed for me so the bed isn’t dangerous and to high for me in the middle of night to go to the restroom. I travel with night lights as well for safty. We travel and have money like anyone else !!!
I have been Hoyer dependent 3yrs with ALS. Yes, this is a real problem as to beds. A handicap power wheelchair accessible room is listed as either step in or roll in shower. Sometimes you have to ask to clarify before booking. A step in shower obviously does not work for me and others who cannot walk or stand. Most hotel receptionists are not aware of issues of either the Hoyer or showers and you get false replies. Trust no one verbally or you may find yourself sleeping on a cot.
Most hotels are unaware of the need for the 4 inch high gap needed for Hoyer legs. You call before booking on the Internet (internet booking usually yields a discount) and have someone go to the room to confirm that it’s not a platform bed and that there is at least a 4 inch gap. You may even want them to send you a picture. Once you have assurance that they have a Hoyer accessible bed and you booked online, you need to give them a call back to make sure they reserve that specific room to prevent the disaster when you eventually arrive to use the room.You need to book early because fully accessible handicap rooms are very limited and only a few hotels still have raised beds that are not platform beds in their handicap rooms. Once you know a hotel that you usually stay at that have works for you, remember it on your list. You still need to call the hotel just to confirm that they didn’t convert their beds to platform beds in their handicap room. I have had to call 5 hotels in a locale to finally find one that was Hoyer accessible.
Another option is to carry around four 4 inch bed lift risers to put under the corners of the platform bed. It would mean that you’d have to have someone healthy in your group to raise up the platform bed and put the 4 inch lifts underneath the four corners. You cannot really count on the hotel to help you in the maneuver but there are some compassionate people out there.
My more recent hotel experience was at a Disney World meeting where the huge 800 bed hotel absolutely assured me after I went through the drill with the higher up hotel manager that they had a Hoyer compatible bed. When I arrived three months later, they sent me to a room that had a platform bed. I recognize at that time that you need to write down the name of the person who assured you that there was a bed. The manager was not there at that present time but the receptionist said that if he told you we had a Hoyer compatible bed that there must be one. They finally put me up in a hospitality suite that had a reception area for 78 people that had a handicap roll in shower bathroom and a Murphy pulldown bed on wheels from the wall. It was somewhere off the beaten track with all the other hospitality areas but it worked for me and they did not charge me extra. I was thinking I could’ve invited a number of guests for the four day meeting. For privacy, they even provided another hospitality suite for my home aid at no increased charge since there were no single rooms in that area.
It would be nice to have the handicap rooms listed as being Hoyer accessible but I doubt if that’s ever going to happen. It’s an oversight in Disability Act the same as thing as Airlines. You have to be proactive in protecting yourself. Although there are some compassionate people out there to help you, usually
the only human person that really cares about you and that you can count on is yourself, hopefully your spouse, adult children, and close friends.
Michael Joyce, MD
@joycemich - Thank you for sharing your experience and insights. We know many people feel the way you do. When people book on our site, we contact the hotel to confirm the accessibility requests (including bed heights and space for Hoyer lifts upon request) and then call a few days before to confirm that the room with the specific features is still available.