We have recently been reviewing some of the not so obvious products and services that are not readily available to family members or carers of disabled people and a few spring to mind that we feel should be highlighted and given more publicity.
Current regulations such as the Equality Act 2010 (previously known as the Disability Discrimination Act DDA) make numerous recommendations for disabled WC facilities as far as getting on, getting off, and using a WC if you are a wheelchair user, they also make recommendations for the blind and visually impaired and the ambulant disabled in getting access to and using accessible WC facilities.
One area that is not recognised by current regulations is the hygiene and changing needs of disabled adults and children. If you have a baby that needs changing you simply lift it up, plonk it on the fold down baby changing table, change it and leave. However, if you have a disabled adult or child that needs changing you have very few options open to you and would normally end up by getting the disabled adult or child to lay on the cold and often wet floor of either a baby changing room or disabled WC cubicle. There are currently no regulations for adult changing facilities in the UK and it is time this facility was provided in addition to disabled WC facilities.
For parents or carers of adults and children that either have bowel problems, severe learning disabilities or a host of other conditions that result in them needing to wear a nappy or incontinence product there is a dedicated changing, washing and drying facilities that assists with lifting the user onto an adult changing platform; Clos-o-Mat offers a range of unique products that meets all of these needs and many more in all areas of personal hygiene and able to be fitted into your own property, care home, hospital or public changing place but of course these facilities will be few and far between if you are outside of these areas.
Clos-o-Mat also offer a whole range of related products including grab and support bars, hoists, shower chairs and fully accessible toilet fittings such as wash and dry toilets offering greater degrees of independence. Check out the full accessible WC and bath product range by following the highlighted link.
These are all great aids if you need them but as I said earlier these are rarely found in public places or if they are there will mainly be in larger establishments like hospitals and even then only a few will cater for the changing needs of anything other than mothers and toddlers needing to change their baby’s nappy, currently there are less than 20 adult changing facilities in UK hospitals and that is a very small number when you consider that there are more than 1,800 hospitals in England alone.
As with all things we can only make changes if we bring them to the attention of those that implement the regulations such as regulatory bodies including Part M of the Building Regulations and British standards 8300 that state what should be included in public buildings to meet the needs of the disabled.
One way that you can help make changes is to get involved with an ongoing campaign called “Space to Change” it is a campaign aimed at ensuring that the personal hygiene needs of children and adults who need changing and lifting facilities for their personal care are met when away from home, as much as possible.
Check out Space to Change by visiting the highlighted link to find full campaign details and are how you can get involved and hopefully make a difference.