Disabled? We are here to try and show that living in a wheelchair doesn't mean you should sit idly at home waiting for the next day to come. We believe that's when attitude becomes the real disability. Life is what you make of it. Live life to the full while you can. Our solution for getting out of the house has been to try a little adventure travel.
bowel care
Note: We must say that we are only trying to be a guide. Please do not take what is written here as the final word. Consult a health professional for more comprehensive information in relation to your personal needs.
If you are contemplating a trip of some kind then it would be assumed that you have worked out the best way to generally perform your bowel care routine. Below are some suggestions when travelling:
  • Keep your bowel routine to the same times on holiday as you do when at home. That is, in the mornings or evenings and the same number of times per week as usual.
  • Use the same method - manual removal, digital stimulation, suppository or mini-enema.
  • If you are a person that does it in bed, then that may cause issues with odours. You will have to treat this as best as possible at the time.
  • Do not worry about any waste bags you may create. Hotel staff are used to cleaning many different types of waste from a room. Do what you need to do.
  • If you go somewhere that is some distance and the times are 12 hours out - that is, your morning at home is at night where you are, then you may need to adjust the times to get back into a morning routine or revert to doing your bowel routine at night for a period.
  • Watch what you eat while away. Always try and understand what type of food affect you in what way. Do beans cause you loose stools?
  • Do you usually eat a quantity of bran or other cereal at home? If so you should try and keep this up while away to stop constipation.
  • If you use a commode, then you will most likely have to take one with you. It is doubtful that the hotel will have one available for your use. You can purchase travelling commodes that fold up into a suitcase. These can be expensive, and from experience they are not really stable and take a while to put together, and this is not great if you are moving around a lot.
  • Take whatever you need to with you that you use to help with your bowel routine. The rule of thumb is to work out what you need for the time you are away, take that plus an extra 10% for unseen requirements.
  • If you are active in your chair, keep this up as activity helps with bowel care.
  • Watch the weather. If you are going to a hot area you will perspire more and you should then increase your fluid intake - this means water not alcohol.
  • Don't rush your program. Spend the time you need to do your routine. If you rush, say to keep up with others in group, then you may run the risk of a bowel accident.
  • If you have excessive gas, which can be a problem if new foods are tried, then try to avoid what is different as much as possible. New foods can cause unexpected results.
For further information download the Spinal Care Handbook pdf file.