Disclaimer: All views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blogger’s own.
“Life changing” Would these two words automatically pop to mind when thinking or talking about a toilets? My guess is probably not and why would they – the ‘call of nature’ is a natural bodily function that happens multiple times a day, it’s just a normal thing, but what happens when the call of nature becomes inconvenience or a huge anxiety it stops you from enjoying and living your life!
For myself and 250.000 thousand disabled people and their families with complex needs it does just that – going to the toilet has become such a stressful situation and I could even go as far as saying a burden on peoples life’s. It’s resulted in some disabled people opting to have an operation. The fear and anxiety of leaving the safety net of their homes is very real.
My own struggles. My life is either, holding it in until I get home and yes there has been many accidental moments which just adds to the anxiety you already have, limiting my fluid intake to a few sips of water when I’m out for more than 3 hours or just never going out at all what kind of life am I really giving myself, I’m either putting my health at risk if I dare to wheel out my frontdoor or living in the same four walls.
It can play with your mental health as well as your physical well-being what ever you decide to do, it’s doesn’t just effect my life but my husband also he worries just as much as I do on the what IF’S. The scary thing is it become apart of “normal” life worrying about whether your able to use a toilet when your out!
Round 250,000 disabled people and their families have to plan any form of outing around whether or not they can use a toilet –not drinking any fluids or having to change your child or teenager on a dirty toilet floor or just the fear of having that embarrassing moment!
Many ‘accessible toilets’ in the UK are unequipped. To small to fit a wheelchair in on it’s own let alone adding a carer/caregiver, forget trying to adjust clothes (I don’t fancy flashing my knickersto the world!) and If you are capable of transferring try that when the loo is to low or so squished Into a corner you can’t manoeuvre your wheelchair into position! Grab rails, they are either badly fitted or not enough, then add baby changing table, they have a habit of just getting in the way!
More changing Places facilities
Changing Places Toilets provide
- The right equipment
- Adult size height adjustable changing bench
- A tracking hoist system, or mobile hoist if this is not possible
Enough space/Safe space
- Adequate space – changing area for a disabled person and up to two carers
- A centrally placed toilet with enough room either side for safe transfer
- A screen or curtain to allow privacy
A safe and clean environment
- Wide tear off paper roll to cover the bench
- A large waste bin for disposable pads
- A non-slip floor
- Some even provide a shower
How do you find a register Changing Places look for the symbol below.
You can also find any registered Changing Places toilet on the Changing Places UK website
The government announced a £30m investment to provide Changing Places Toilets for local Authorities to opt-in and apply to install more changing Places toilets across the UK. This is why having your say has never been so important than right now.
Email or write to your local Authority asking them to opt-in.
Even if you don’t use a Changing Places Toilet, please show your support by creating and raising more awareness to these ‘life changing’ facilities because you just don’t know who’s life you will be giving back their Independence too,
Venue stats for the UK
- 40% of airports have changing Places
- Only 18 pubs and restaurants have registered to Changing Places
- 1% of visitor attractions have Changing Places
- Only 55 museums, galleries and art centers in the UK have register Changing Places
- 21% of motorway service stations Have registered Changing Places
- Only 93 hospitals in the UK have a registered Changing Places
- Fewer than 2% of train stations Changing Places
- 60% Of Premier League Stadiums have changing Places
- Under 5% of parks and open spaces have Changing Places
The clock is ticking for your local authorities to opt-in with 32 days left.
I will continue to keep fighting for more changing places toilets as everyone has a human right to use a toilet, no one should be laid on a dirty toilet floor to be changed. Let’s not be fighting for the same reasons we are now in 10 years time!
Until next time.
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