Dear Annie: My wife and I are both in our 80s, and though we do not travel as much as we once did, we are still able to get around a bit. I am in fairly good physical condition, but my wife must use either a cane or a walker. The problem is this:
When we stop at a hotel or motel for the night, it is almost impossible to get a room with a walk-in shower. Even if we get a "handicapped" room, it will usually have a tub with a shower and possibly rails. It is impossible for my wife to get into a tub, and I cringe at the thought of having to stand in a tub while showering. I can't help but wonder just how many people traveling take a bath in a tub of water as opposed to using the shower.
I have tried to get the attention of some of the motel chains about this, but I seem to get nowhere. Perhaps you could get your readers to weigh in on this and see what the general feeling is on the subject. I would surely like to see more rooms with walk-in showers available. At least then, travelers could have a choice. -- W.C. in Waycross, Ga.
Dear W.C.: You raise an excellent and important point. Though I can't offer you a solution, I can open the discussion up to my readers, as well as use this platform to implore hoteliers to consider the safety of seniors (and anyone with limited mobility) when designing their bathrooms. For many, grab bars aren't enough.
Dear Readers: I recently published a letter from "Waiting Games," who was tired of her good friend's chronic tardiness. I heard from a lot of you about your own experiences with this issue.
Dear Annie: I used to be chronically tardy. For me, the tardiness was based on my untreated depression and lack of self-esteem. So sometimes tardiness is caused by some underlying issue. Some days, it was so hard for me to get out of the house. I can put on a fake ''everything is fine'' face, and no one asked why I always seemed to have a hard time getting to places. But asking why is not a bad place to start a discussion with someone you care about. Just sayin'. -- Moki
Dear Moki: Shrewd point, and yet another testament to the power of leading with empathy. Thank you for writing.
Dear Annie: I used to be 15 minutes late to everything. I would leave the house the time I was supposed to be places. When I was finally psychologically ready to change that, I tricked myself by telling myself to be 15 minutes early. I also wrote notes with the time I needed to leave instead of the time I needed to be somewhere. The flip side is that the friend can adjust her thinking, expecting the arrival 15 minutes later than planned. -- Susan in Santa Fe
Dear Susan: The phrase that stuck out most in your letter to me was "when I was finally psychologically ready to change that." It seems that many chronically tardy people have a psychological block of some sort. I'd be curious to know what finally removed that for you and others.