Is it complaining? Or just speaking a horrible truth?
I was in the press again this week, along with several other campaigners. It was a good article with a lot of information.
But the headline bothered me!
I have a child who can use the toilet and who wants to. Don’t we all prefer the idea of using an actual toilet to wetting ourselves? OR WORSE!
But he needs a toilet with a hoist and changing bench to enable him to use it.
To enable this I usually e-mail ahead of our visit (very rare that we have a spontaneous outing) to check their facilities, check the space and find out if our equipment can fit.
I carry a fold out bed, mobile hoist and a toilet chair so that I can manage to get Adam onto the toilet. I then need a carer to come with me.
Unfortunately, with my current back problems, getting the hoist in and out of the car isn’t an option right now. They are big, heavy and not that mobile!
Years ago we did it in the back of the car.
It is a sizeable car but imagine a wheelchair with child in that space, along with two adults lifting him from the wheelchair to the fold out bed, to the toilet chair, back to the bed then back to wheelchair. Then we get to deal with the “contents”.
Anyone fancy doing that with a child who is almost as big as you are and who has metal rods in their back, a hip which constantly and painfully dislocates and a knee on the other side of his body which dislocates too? When his knee dislocates you feel the vibration along his entire leg, from hip to foot.
Add in that he has osteoporosis so you need to be careful not to break him.
Is it really complaining?
Or is it just speaking up for my 10 year old son who needs better than the current minimum standards provided in toilet facilities with a wheelchair logo on the door?
With a Changing Places style toilet, all we need to take with us is this one single piece of equipment.
One simple sling.
It folds up small, fits in a mum-bag (or dad-bag) and nobody else spots that you are carrying anything unusual.
As for cost, people seem to have an idea that these facilities are ridiculously costly.
Cornwall Services had a room which was already functioning as a toilet. It cost them £6,500 for the ceiling hoist and a top end fully adjustable changing table.
If other users are like me, they stop there, eat, drink, shop in the farm shop or in Salt Rock, possibly pay for children to enjoy the great soft play area or Clip and Climb and then refuel at their fuel station.
I would like to state that Cornwall Services didn’t install it for that purpose – they did it because it was the right thing to do!
Servicing costs are also raised as a potential problem.
I asked one of the companies who install the equipment and they told me they charge £190 for an annual service of the hoist, to include preventative maintenance.
Not exactly unreasonable, is it? It doesn’t even take a lot of space!
I sometimes see comments online saying that the insurance problems are obviously what stop big businesses from installing them. Yet according to businesses which have them, they have had absolutely no insurance issues whatsoever. No extra charges, no issues!
Finally, I get very annoyed by people suggesting that having these facilities will “put people out of business”.
I haven’t yet come across anyone asking their local coffee shop to install one. (Although I know of at least two in the UK who wanted to install them and are glad to have them.) People are asking at tourist attractions, service stations, big football stadia, theatres and new shopping centres being built. Are those people really being unreasonable? Or do we all expect toilets at these places?
So please add your support to this petition.
Because all this lady is asking for is for something which is currently a Building Standards “recommendation” in certain major locations to become mandatory.
If you expect to use a toilet at an airport or in a hospital, shouldn’t everyone expect to?