One minute B was chatting and smiling at my friend and I, as we all enjoyed a leisurely lunch, and then my disabled daughter’s mood suddenly changed. That usually means one thing: she needs the toilet.
Normally I would make a mad dash to get home before she has an accident, but not today. You see we were visiting Dundrum Town Centre, which recently became the first shopping centre in the south of Ireland to install a full Changing Places toilet. This is an extra large disabled toilet with the addition of a ceiling hoist and changing bed which means I can help my daughter to use the toilet without risking injury to either of us.
It was our first time to use a commercial facility, and I was very impressed: it was spacious, very clean and there were clear instructions on how to use all the equipment.
Getting in was not so easy – you have to obtain and return a special key via the information desk, and it’s NOT the disabled toilet key that I already have. You can buy the one for the Dundrum toilet from the same locksmith, details in this link:
I also had to ask where it was (I should have checked the above link!) and I found it a little cold as there was no radiator.
Apart from those minor issues it was a wonderful experience. I’m not exaggerating. Even at home I’m pulling and adjusting and bending and sweating every time B uses the toilet.
We were in and out of the Dundrum facility in about 10 minutes, and I didn’t feel the need for a lie down afterwards!
It’s also made me even more determined to find a home for B and I where I can install a ceiling hoist, because if I find it hard to manage her physical needs now, how difficult will it become in 10 or 20 years time?
And if anyone doubts the need for these facilities, I can tell you that when we emerged there was another family waiting outside to use it…
So thank you Dundrum, and I hope that every other shopping centre follows your example soon.