Planning a vacation is hard work. Having a disability in the family makes it even more complicated. Throw in an adult who needs a diaper change or personal hygiene needs, and it’s really tricky.
My family recently took a vacation, which meant my adult son had a full day of travel. There was no place to freshen up and get changed. Many hours without a change causes all kinds of problems for him. We were concerned about how to make the day work. We left our hotel room in the early morning and would not get home until evening.
However, we were thrilled to learn that the Orlando International Airport offered the perfect solution. In two companion bathrooms in the main terminal, there were adult changing tables. That news changed the day completely!
The adult changing tables hold up to 400 pounds. The tables are about 6 feet long and operate with hydraulics to raise from floor level to tall table height and back down. The tables are in private, individual companion restrooms that are large enough for a wheelchair. These tables made it possible to change my son in a safe, private, and respectable way. The experience made our day of travel so much more pleasant.
Through this experience, we learned that there's a movement to install these adult changing tables in more public areas. The movement and tables are called Universal Changing Places. Right now, many elderly and adults with disabilities have to lie on the floor of public restrooms for personal care. These tables will change life in the community for many people!
My family is hoping for more of these bathrooms for sure. These tables would allow my son to be involved in so many more activities at so many more venues. Thank you to everyone who made our travel day more doable!
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we asked parents of children with disabilities and special health care needs to share their tips and stories about caring for their children during difficult times.