I?ve noticed a rather disturbing trend in properties lately ? high beds. I don?t mean just a few inches higher than normal either; I?m talking about mammoth beds that are over three feet high. I just don?t get it. Who do they think is going to use these beds? The Jolly Green Giant?
And let?s not even talk about wheelchair-access. How do they think somebody in a wheelchair is going to get into to these high beds? OK, maybe they just don?t think.
Truth is, perhaps our regulators didn?t think when they drafted the access guidelines. I find it odd that toilet height is spelled out in the ADAAG, yet there are no specifications for bed height. After all, there is very little difference transfer-wise between the two.
This problem used to be confined to historic properties, but in the past few months I?ve found high beds in very contemporary settings. To add insult to injury, some properties also add a pillow top mattress to an already high bed. Obviously that just compounds the problem.
The solution? Well to be honest I think there needs to be a little more education about the problem. Most of the proprietors I?ve spoken with really want to make their properties accessible, but they just have absolutely no idea that bed height is an issue. When I explain it to them, it makes sense, but they just didn?t see it before.
Education is really the name of the game. Once people really understand the issues they are more likely to correctly address access problems.