Leaving the house can be daunting when you are incontinent, let alone going on long trips. This can affect your family life, your relationship with your partner, and your career.
One tool that may be useful if you have a smart phone is an app showing you where the nearest publicly-accessible toilet is at any given time. Many of these apps are free, and show toilets in places like parks, town halls, libraries, medical centres and shops.
To find these apps, go to the iTunes store (for Apple), the GooglePlay store or the Android AppStore (for Android), and use search terms such as "toilet finder". Each app should tell you its price (try looking for ones that are free), and also have a summary of its features and ratings from users.
Some Australian apps (all free) are:
- Aussie Loo - this app has three options: "I'm busting!" which gives you directions to the nearest toilets; and two search options (using the map or entering an address) which allow you to plan ahead.
- Street' Loo - lists the opening hours of toilets, and has an 'emergency' button you can press to get walking, biking or driving directions to the nearest toilet. It also has a search feature.
- Toilet Finder - tells you the 10 nearest toilets in either a list or a map.
The great thing about these apps is that you don't have to plan your trip as closely as you may otherwise have to. At any time you can take out your smart phone, open the app, and be directed to the nearest public toilet. For someone who has urge incontinence this can greatly increase the number of places they can travel to.
If you are in Australia and do not have a smart phone, you also can access this information on the following webpage from the Department of Human Services: National Public Toilet Map. You will need to plan your trip ahead if you want to use this resource.
For people who are not incontinent, this can also be a useful resource if you have a toddler who is toilet training.
If you know of any resources like this for your country, please share them in the comments below.