The lack of disabled changing facilities in public buildings and attractions is a very real issue that many thousands of people face every single day. Everyone has the right to access their community but without disabled changing facilities such as Changing Places toilets, this is simply not an option. Often families are faced with the reality of having to change their loved ones on dirty toilet floors or stay at home.
Joshua Wilson (The Joshua Wilson Brain Tumour Charity)
Changing Places are life changing facilities which incorporate an adult sized changing bench and patient hoisting system into large accessible toilet facilities which allow many thousands of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities as well as those with other serious impairments such as spinal injuries, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis or an acquired brain injury to use the toilet comfortably and with dignity.
Standard accessible or disabled (DocM) toilets are often unsuitable, being too small, or not having appropriate equipment. Changing Places are large toilet areas with room for up to 2 carers featuring an adult size changing benchand patient lifting hoist. They are a safe place for severely disabled people to be changed and cared for with dignity and reduce the risk of back strain for the care giver(s).
The following statement is written by Sharron Ashley-Hill from Gloucester and explains why Changing Places facilities are so important for her and her daughter Frankie,
“Changing places for Frankie are so important as without them being able to go out for a whole day is impossible. Frankie’s needs regarding toilet facilities are essentially the same as it is for anybody but she needs to use it in a different way. I think if you ask people who can use conventional toilets how they would manage if the toilets were all taken away and they would have to wait until they got home to be comfortable again and they wouldn’t be able to spend a day out and have lunch etc then that would give an understanding of what it is like for Frankie.
Frankie loves shopping and eating out but we can only do this with her for a couple of hours at a time simply because we can’t change her. A number of times we have just got into town and because Frankie suddenly needs changing we have to go straight back home again. As a family we would love the opportunity to be able to spend a day out together and have lunch and take our time but this doesn’t happen for us just because of this one issue.
I feel that not only Frankie but a whole section of our society is neglected in this way as Frankie is not unique. Toilets are provided for able bodied people and for disabled people who can use a toilet but there is little or no provision for people like Frankie. In my opinion this is a level of discrimination against all people like my daughter. Changing facilities are always provided for babies so that they can be comfortable and happy and their parents can enjoy time out. This level of understanding needs to be applied for all the people who struggle like my daughter.”
Sharron and Frankie
If you would like to see how your business can increase footfall and revenue from installing a Changing Places facility as well as opening up to being more accessible to disabled visitors and read about the benefits of disabled changing, download our FREE whitepaper here today.
Established in 1993, Astor-Bannerman are co-sponsors of the Changing Places campaign (Aveso Ltd) and one of the leading UK manufacturers and providers of disability care solutions, specialising in paediatric care equipment for people with various disabilities, mobility impairments and physical limitations.
Astor-Bannerman have built an excellent reputation for offering expert advice and support to ensure disabled people across the UK can enjoy a fuller and more independent lifestyle through use of the best quality range of disability equipment.
Astor-Bannerman aim to go the extra mile; offering a range of products, services and free honest Changing Places advice to ease suppliers through the purchase and on-going use of specialist Changing Places equipment. The whole process is designed, quite simply, to make the lives of people with physical limitations across the UK more comfortable and stress-free.
Just a few of the Changing Places services provided by Astor-Bannerman includes
- Equipment Specification
- Design & Site Surveys
- Staff Training
- Registration & Signage
Astor-Bannerman have worked with many important organisations and installed Changing Places facilities at prestigious and high profile venues including
- Tesco Extra
- National Trust
- Arsenal FC, Liverpool FC and Manchester United
- Welcome Break
- Network Rail
- Stansted Airport
- Arndale Shopping Centre
- Cabot Circus
- Alder Hey Hospital and Sheffield Hospital