Changing Places

How a Changing Places toilet changed our lives

Do you know the importance of a Changing Places toilet in public buildings? True fact is that more than ¼ million people cannot use standard accessible toilets because such facilities are not properly equipped to meet their needs. As a result, carers are often forced to change continence pads on a car parking or a public toilet floor. It is not hard to imagine, then, how life can be profoundly affected by the lack of adequate facilities.

This is the reason why the Changing Places Consortium was born in 2005, to be the voice of all those people who need extra care and proper toilet facilities to live a normal and dignified life.

In the last decades, hundreds of Changing Places toilets have been installed across the UK. Seemingly, Northern Ireland and Eire are following the example as more managers of public buildings understand the importance of providing a Changing Places toilet to improve the overall accessibility of their site for their actual and potential customers.

What makes a Changing Places toilet different from a standard accessible toilet?

A Changing Places toilet must include:

  • Adult-sized height adjustable wall-mounted changing bench
  • Height Adjustable Wash Hand Basin
  • Ceiling track hoist
  • Peninsular Toilet (with adequate room on either side)
  • Privacy Screen
  • Support Rails
  • Non-Slip Flooring
  • Wide paper roll dispenser
  • Large waste disposal bin

Changing Places toilet design

Which places should have a Changing Places installed?

  • Large theatres and cinemas
  • Museums, concert halls, and art galleries
  • Shopping centres
  • Key public buildings within town centres 
  • Educational establishments
  • Healthcare facilities 

Who can benefit from a Changing Places toilet?

  • People with profound and multiple learning disabilities
  • Individuals with conditions that may affect their movement
  • People with head injuries or spinal injuries
  • Individuals living with a stroke
  • Elderly people who need to be assisted

Sync Living is proud to support the Changing Places cause. Our specialist Andrew Smyth has already helped several public buildings across Northern Ireland and Ireland become more inclusive. You can have a look here, to check which Changing Places toilet we have successfully installed. 

Changing places toilet sign

Changing Places and the story of Sharon and Aliya

We think there is no better way to show how Changing Places can make a real difference than sharing with you the experience of Sharon Karatas and her daughter Aliya. Their life has significantly changed since more and more Changing Places toilet have been installed in public buildings.

Sharon, does the lack of Changing Places affect your day-to-day activities?

Definitely. Without a Changing Places facility, I cannot take Aliya out and we cannot enjoy a normal family life.

What are the benefits that Changing Places can bring into your lives?

For Aliya, it is a matter of safety and dignity. In a Changing Places toilet, she also feels more independent since she is able to wash her hands on her own thanks to the height-adjustable wash hand basin. It is something really simple, but it means a lot to her.

For me, the presence of a ceiling track hoists inside every Changes Places facility is invaluable. It means I don’t have to lift her, it helps me prevent bad injuries.

The difference that a Changing Places toilet can make in our lives is beyond unbelievable. We don’t cut our days out short anymore. I don’t have to change her on filthy floors and we don’t have to rush home to use our own bathroom. We gained more freedom, independence, dignity.

Check out their full interview in our latest video about the Changing Places facility we installed in Victoria Square, Belfast.

If you want to know in more detail about Changing Places toilets and their equipment, have a look here.
There are some basic differences existing with standard accessible toilets that everyone should be aware of. 

If you want to support Changing Places, get involved right now!