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What is the Difference Between a Disabled Toilet and a Changing Places Facility?

Many thousands of disabled people can’t live their lives to the fullest because they are unable to find suitable bathroom facilities when they are away from home.

There is a common misunderstanding that standard disabled toilets are suitable for all disabled people; in this week’s blog post we look at the differences between a disabled toilet and a Changing Places facility.

Why Aren’t Disabled Toilets Suitable for Everyone?

We have come a long with disability access in the UK, in general, most places including businesses and public areas will have a standard disabled toilet, ramps for wheelchair users and alternative methods of communication, such as Braille. But there are still thousands of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities who can’t use standard disable toilets.

These people may need the support of two care assistants to use the toilet or may need a continence pad changing. In a standard disabled toilet, there isn’t usually a bench or hoist, so this automatically excludes any adults who require continence pads changing. Most accessible toilets are also too small to accommodate more than one person – they are only suitable for wheelchair users who can self-transfer to the toilet, not those who need the help of carers.

Without Changing Places, life can be a struggle for anyone with profound disabilities. Parents or carers are forced to change continence pads on dirty toilet floors or risk the person they are caring for feeling very uncomfortable. It can be a humiliating experience for both the disabled person and carer. Not only is the practice humiliating, but it can also be dangerous; both bathroom users are put at risk of injury or infection.
The extra features in a Changing Places toilet provide a severely disabled person and their care assistant or family, with a more than adequate space.


Kinsbury Water Park Changing Places Facility

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Disabled Toilets Vs Changing Places

A Changing Places toilet differs from a disabled toilet in many ways. Standard disabled toilets, often called accessible toilets, don’t have many of the required features to meet the needs of a person with severe disabilities.

Here are some of the great features you will find in a Changing Places facility:

  • height adjustable adult-sized changing bench
  • tracking hoist system or mobile hoist
  • enough space in the changing area for a disabled person and up to two carers
  • centrally placed toilet with room either side for the carers
  • a screen or curtain to allow the disabled person and carer some privacy
  • wide tear off paper roll to cover benches
  • large waste bin for disposable pads
  • non-slip floor
  • You will also find many Changing Places facilities have a shower – this isn’t a compulsory requirement though so they may just be found at venues where it makes sense; swimming pools, for example.

If you need any further information on the key differences between a disabled toilet and a Changing Places facility then please get in touch.

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With over 30 years’ experience in construction, iHUS is one of the UK’s leading disabled adaptations companies – specialising in the design and installation of Changing Places facilities.

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If you simply have a question for us, please submit your details, along with a quick message, and we’ll back to you ASAP. You can also reach us on 0808 1641111 or email us at enquiries@ihusprojects.com

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