Hi there. My wife is 56 and has been in a wheelchair for 15 months. We would love to try and start flying again but have some anxiety about it. I normally assist her with bathroom visits but obviously the bathroom on a plane is too small to help her. Do wheelchair-bound folks just wear a Depends when they fly? Thank you
Wearing a depends is a great option. I go before my flight.
Pardon the pun but it depends…
I am a full time wheelchair user and cannot walk at all. If the flight is relatively short, (less than three hours), I limit fluids and use the restroom right before boarding starts and then again as soon as I get off the plane. If it is a longer that’s a different story but I seem to remember seeing an ad very recently for a device that is for females that collects urine and drains it into a bag like thing. I believe it is designed for overnight use to limit having to get up to use the restroom…. I actually just found it…
I try my best to go to the washroom at least :30 minutes before I am supposed to board the plane. I also wear a incontinence pad while flying. I would suggest if your wife isn’t able to go longer than 1-2 hours on a plane ride without having to use the washroom. It would be a great idea to get her either some depends; or insert a catheter in her with a urine bag. Attach it to her leg(can easily be concealed if she is wearing a ankle length dress or skirt). Just empty the urine bag after you get off the plane in the washroom.
They do make boosters for pullups that will hold a lot of water for a plane ride. I use them when I volunteer at our museum and for Church.
Purewick isn’t for travel sadly.
I try to fly first thing in the morning and I have nothing to drink before I fly I can usually go six hours without needing a bathroom good luck
If she can get in and out of a wheelchair, planes have special aisle chairs they can wheel you from your seat to the bathroom. I just flew from Seattle to Kenya round trip and the airlines were extremely helpful.
What airline did you fly? Did you board in your chair or theirs? Thanks
I have flown on United, American, Delta, and Emirates. They were all very helpful. You can take your own chair to the plane, but will have to transfer to the aisle chair for access in the plane. They will check your chair there if you like. Or check it when you get to the airport and use one of the airport chairs.
I was very nervous the first time I flew after my amputation. A lot of worry for nothing. But it wasn’t the first time for the airlines. I think they all have it down very well. I would call in advance and let them know of the situation. That way they will have everything you need ready for you.
Very helpful. Thank you
Not to be a Debbie downer here, but the airline staff are not required to assist passengers to the bathroom in the aisle chair. On longer flights they might be willing, but again not required and have little training in assisting with transfers. Perhaps it is that I am an amputee and they are worried that I might fall.
I do plan ahead and wear a depends with liner. I also bring along a chux (water absorbent pad lined with plastic) and put it between me and my skirt just in case. One never knows if a flight might be delayed and exceed by bladder limit.
Just to be clear, flight attendants ARE required to assist you TO the bathroom (they have to, the onboard wheelchair is not self propelled), but once you get to the bathroom you are on your own.
Aircrew are meant to take you to the toilet by wheeling you in the aisle chair to and from. They are required to do anything further to assist you. This is one reason I started this ongoing petition - Log in or sign up · Change.org