I would welcome unisex (family) restrooms. My dad is 95. He will be 96 on the 27th of this month. Up until last November, he was getting around with a walker and still driving, albeit just on surface streets close to our house. He enjoyed just getting out around people while I was at work. Going to Walmart and the grocery store, gave him something to do. He has had a couple of health issues so he isn’t getting around as well as he was or driving.
Most of the time, he gets around mainly in a wheelchair and he needs some assistance in the bathroom. A little background, I’m an only child. My mom and dad were married 19 years before they had me. My mom was never pregnant before or after. It’s a shame, because my mom and dad are wonderful parents. Any child would have been blessed and fortunate to have been born into this family. Even though my mom and dad were older and from another time, they were always open with me and never told me I couldn’t do anything because I was a girl. But I digress. The reason why I want unisex (family) restrooms has to do with my dad’s independence.
“I don’t want to embarrass or make my dad feel uncomfortable taking him into the ladies' room. And I don’t want to make the women feel uncomfortable. And I don’t want to make the men feel uncomfortable by taking him into the men’s room”
My dad’s mind is sharp. But his body can’t keep up with his mind. My mom had Parkinson’s. She was in a wheelchair for a few years. And we lost her in 2005. But being that I was a girl, we could take my mom out to eat, to the mall, traveling, etc. I could take her to the restroom. We had no problems. Our family has shrunk over the years. It is just my dad and me in San Antonio. We have a cousin and aunt in California. And we have friends here who we look at as extended family. But it’s just my dad and me most of the time. And not having unisex (family) restrooms hinders me from taking my Dad out. He can’t do all the things he used to do. But there are so many things he can and would like to do, but can’t do because of lack of restrooms.
I don’t want to embarrass or make my dad feel uncomfortable taking him into the ladies’ room. And I don’t want to make the women feel uncomfortable. And I don’t want to make the men feel uncomfortable by taking him into the men’s room. He likes to go to concerts. We have seen Tony Bennett and Johnny Mathis several times. But the venue they usually come to doesn’t have unisex (family) restrooms, so we will probably have to forego the next concerts they perform here if they are at the same location. I now try to plan any concerts only when they are at new theaters which have unisex (family) restrooms. My dad has always enjoyed going out to eat. I have to make sure there are unisex (family) restrooms at these restaurants. And there are more places that don’t have these accessible restrooms than do have them.
So what am I supposed to do? Please help me to give my dad back the independence he desires, he deserves, and he has earned. Please make unisex (family) restrooms a requirement and law for all of those in the same place as my dad and I are in. Daughters will be able to help their dads. Sons will be able to help their moms. Wives can help their husbands. And husbands can help their wives. Friends will be able to help their friends. Whatever the situation might be, this would be the solution. It will give my dad back his independence and dignity. And it will give a daughter the pleasure of being able to take her dad out and watch him do some of the things he can still do and enjoys doing.