Friday 19 July 2019

What is a Changing Places // Changing Places Awareness Day 2019

Image result for changing places
Example of a Changing Places facility

About Changing Places

The Changing Places campaign officially started in July 2006. In celebration of this the Changing Places Consortium decided to make the 19th of July an annual awareness day for the campaign and for raising awareness of Changing Places - educating people what they are any why they are essential for so many disabled children and adults in the UK, but also worldwide. Changing Places Day is also about celebrating the Changing Places campaign and what it has done over the years.
"Many people don’t give visiting public buildings a second thought. But some disabled people are unable to takepart in activities many take for granted because standard accessible toilets do not meet their needs – or the needs of their carers and families.Imagine having to change your loved one or someone you care for on a public toilet oor. This just isn’t acceptable. But it’s a reality many have to face daily because they have no choice." - Changing Places, Changing Lives

What are Changing Places?

Changing Places have addition facilities to meet an individual's needs including facilities that could include: 

  • A bigger room to allow several carers into the room alongside wheelchairs and equipment
  • Centrally placed toilet with space either side for carer or for easier transferring
  • Plenty of grab rails
  • A hoist (either a portable hoist or a track ceiling hoist), privacy screens, a height adjustable adult size changing bench
  • Wide tear-off paper roll to cover the bench
  • A height adjustable sink
  • A shower
  • Large clinical waste bins
  • Emergency red cords
  • A non-slip floor
  • A safe and clean environment

Who benefits from Changing Places?

Standard accessible toilets are fine for some disabled people, but not all.
Changing Places are essential facilities for over 240,000 children and adults in the UK. This may include people muscle-wasting conditions, motor-neurone disease, neurological disorders, spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, severe learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, acquired brain injuries, spina bifida, strokes and other physical disabilities.

Why are Changing Places so important?

Knowing there is a Ching Place facility makes it easier for people and their carers and family to plan leaving the house, whether this is to attend a hospital appointment, run errands or have a fund day out.
"Standard accessible toilets (or "disabled toilets") do not provide changing benches or hoists and most are too small to accommodate more than one person. Without Changing Places toilets, the person with disabilities is put at risk, and families are forced to risk their own health and safety by changing their loved one on a toilet floor. This is dangerous, unhygienic and undignified." - Changing Places

Why we need more Changing Places

In the UK there is a growing need for more Changing Places and there are simply not enough and often it's a postcode lottery as to where you live as to how many there are in your local area.
The Changing Places campaign has and is being very successful in getting more Changing Places facilities installed across the country. It is still not mandatory for Changing Places to be installed in public buildings and spaces, but the Changing Places campaign is working on this to make it a mandatory requirement under Building Regulation for all public spaces - shopping centres, leisure venues, hospitals, transport hubs like bus and train stations, motorway serves and airports.

How can I find out where my nearest Changing Place is located?

On the Changing Places website there is a map of all the nearby Changing Places to where you are. 
You can also plan a route and it will show you where all the Changing Places are located along you route.
You can also find Mobile Changing Places which can be hired for events.
Also, if you come across a Changing Place which is not on the map you can inform the Changing Places campaign so they can upload it to the map.
The map also gives details of some locations as to what facilities that particular Changing Place has.