Changing Places toilets offer a multitude of benefits for disabled people and their families. This week on our blog we look at how families, in particular can benefit from access to a Changing Places bathroom.
Changing Places facilities bring a wealth of benefits to disabled people. Not least, the ability to use a bathroom in a safe and dignified way.
Having access to Changing Places toilets is great for people with severe disabilities; that’s the first and foremost reason to install one of these specially adapted bathrooms. What you might not have considered is how Changing Places can benefit entire families.
A common complaint from parents of children with profound disabilities is that their families can often suffer or feel like they are missing out on activities that other families participate in.
Having a severely disabled child means, for a lot of parents, that they can’t stay away from home for too long. The lack of access to changing places toilets means that trips and days out are cut short or don’t happen at all because families can’t find appropriate places to take their child to the toilet or change them safely.
In families with more than one child, this can have a knock-on effect on the entire family. Days out to attractions such as theme parks may not be possible at all- meaning the entire family miss out. Of course, parents could take their children out separately, but a family day isn’t really a family day when all members can’t participate.
Parents that do venture out for a full day may find themselves having to ‘make do’ with toilet provisions – using toilet floors for changing or even public spaces. This is of course, unsafe and unhygienic for both parent and child.
Add in that a parent may have other children with them, and a day out becomes a logistical nightmare.
The lack of facilities for families with more complex needs means that some feel excluded from attractions and public places. This can lead to isolation and a disconnect in families who aren’t able to enjoy time together.
Speaking to ITV news, Changing Places campaigner, Rachel George, who has a disabled son, Adam, echoed the above thoughts: “There are some people who have been changing children and adults in the back of a car, behind bushes and on toilet floors, horrible horrible things are happening to people all over the country.”
Rachel was attending the opening of a new Changing Places toilet at The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall. They were one of the first attractions in the region to install a Changing Places facility.
Ordinarily, this is an attraction that people with severe disabilities wouldn’t have been able to visit. Now, Rachel’s son Adam can enjoy time at the historic gardens, much to his benefit – and that of his family who can also enjoy time with him in a nice setting.
Speaking at the opening, Rachel said: “It means a lot, it means we’re welcome and we’re wanted. Adam needing to be hoisted isn’t a problem, it’s not Adam’s problem, all he needed was a toilet, it just needed a different solution to other people, and it means that we can come out, we can spend a whole day here.”
This is just one family who has been affected by the lack of suitable toilets. As Rachel mentioned, this is happening all over the country to hundreds of families.
Families who are missing out on days out or are putting themselves and their children at risk.
It is estimated, that 1 in every 260 people need to use specially adapted toilet facilities. Behind each of those people is an entire family who are also affected.
Changing Places toilets can change lives, not just for disabled people but for those who are around them too.
Are you ready to upgrade your business to cater to families with more complex bathroom needs? It’s not as hard as you might think.
Get in touch with us today for advice and a brochure on our Changing Places facilities.
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