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24 May 2017

Fiona and Anne

Fiona is 31 years old and enjoys a variety of activities, including shopping, bowling, and visiting friends. Fiona is often unable to get and about to do the things she loves however – simply because there is nowhere for her to use the toilet.

Fionna and Anna

Fiona and her mum Anne, who provides much of her care, need to use a Changing Places toilet when they are out and about. But as there are almost no Changing Places toilets in the UK, Anne has been forced to try and find her own solution to the problem.

"The negative experiences of using a dirty toilet floor to lay my daughter down on prompted us to buy a camper van. We used this so that we could change Fiona inside it when we went out for the day. But this involved lifting and manoeuvring within a very limited space which put my back at risk. This is not even an option for us any more, because of my daughter’s size and because, for medical reasons, I can no longer lift her. If we go out now my daughter has to be uncomfortable until we get home and she can be soaked through!"

Fiona and Anne's life would be made so much easier if Changing Places toilets were available in public places, like city centres, shopping complexes and arts venues.

Full story

Fiona is 31 years old and enjoys a variety of activities, including shopping, bowling, and visiting friends. Fiona is often unable to get and about to do the things she loves however – simply because there is nowhere for her to use the toilet.

Fiona has profound and multiple learning disabilities and complex medical needs. She uses a wheelchair and wears a special body brace and collar to enable her to sit upright. She is gastrostomy fed and is totally dependent on others for 24-hour care, much of which is provided by her mum, Anne.

The lack of suitable toilet facilities in public places puts a huge restriction on both Fiona's life and her family's.

'We can only travel a short distance from our home," Anne explains, "and every outing we make has to be planned down to the smallest detail so that we can get home in time to change Fiona's continence pad.

"If we must travel any further from home or have to be out for a long time, we have to put double pads on Fiona or restrict her fluid intake. Both of these options are far from ideal for Fiona and put her health at risk."

Fiona and Anne need to use a Changing Places toilet when they are out and about, including a height adjustable changing bench where Fiona's pad can be changed and her body brace readjusted. Fiona also needs a hoist system so she can be helped to transfer safely from her wheelchair to the changing bench, and it is essential that there is plenty of space.

Because there are almost no Changing Places toilets in the UK, Anne has been forced to try and find her own solution to the problem ­– but this is no longer an option.

"The negative experiences of using a dirty toilet floor to lay my daughter down on prompted us to buy a camper van. We used this so that we could change Fiona inside it when we went out for the day. But this involved lifting and manoeuvring within a very limited space which put my back at risk. This is not even an option for us any more, because of my daughter’s size and because, for medical reasons, I can no longer lift her. If we go out now my daughter has to be uncomfortable until we get home and she can be soaked through!"

Fiona and Anne's life would be made so much easier if Changing Places toilets were available in public places, like city centres, shopping complexes and arts venues.

"If there were Changing Places toilets in public places it would make an enormous difference to us. For a start it would allow my daughter the basic human need of accessing appropriate toilet facilities. It would also allow our family to enjoy a life taken for granted by the rest of the population."

 


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