Awesome work Jen Hooper
The second official Changing places has opened in Aoteroa - Westfield shopping mall, Newmarket. I’m fortunate enough to live close by, so after an appointment at Greenlane, I popped along for a ‘wee’ visit.
- Entry is by special key fob only, to avoid misuse/abuse of this amazing resource. Key fobs will work on any of the Changing Places entry pads and can be purchased with IF. Entry pad is situated at a convenient height for all.
- Super wide door, and more than enough space for me (power wheelchair with a large box of electronics on the back), husband and service dog. No scraping walls or fittings with the back of my chair, no accidentally setting off the hand dryer, no running over Walter’s paws as I try to manoeuvre
- Bring your own sling and the hoist can position you anywhere in the room. Univeral hooks for sling loops means we can all use it. (Safe weight limit of 200 kgs)
- Height adjustable, handrails on both sides, which helpfully flip out of the way with plenty of space for a carer either side if necessary
- Height adjustable, and so easy. Probably the first time I could wash my hands properly in a sink.
- Shower and change bed:
- Height adjustable change bed which doubles as a shower trolley with excellent drainage. The shower has a flexible hose which can be handheld for extra convenience. The whole space is a wet room, so don't worry about making a mess
- There are very clear instructions, at an appropriate height, on correct usage on how to use the hoist, and how to adjust the toilet, change bed and sink.
- There is an intercom for assistance.
I purchased my key fob over a year ago, before I knew that there would be one nearby, as I knew that money from the sale of the fobs goes back into helping build more Changing Places.
These special bathrooms are so needed, yet this is one of only two in the whole of New Zealand. (The other is at Hamilton Gardens.) Shopping centres and other public places need to be made aware of the need for them. Funding is an ongoing issue, but if public amenities realised that by allocating some space, and some funds, towards having one in their vicinity, they would attract the ongoing patronage of families with a loved one who would benefit from an official Changing Places.
We need to help the amazing Jenn Hooper in any way we can, to promote awareness of the need, and to get more of these amazing spaces built, so more communities can be truly inclusive.