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Case story

More dignity for people with disabilities

For a long time, the Danish company Pressalit® has fought for people with disabilities to have more dignified changing places. In other countries, specially designed accessible toilets in public spaces are common, but Denmark is lagging behind. With their changing place facility solution Spaces, which contains adjustable applications with actuator solutions from LINAK, Pressalit has taken the first step towards better changing place facilities in Denmark.

The inside of Pressalit Spaces

Participating in activities outside home can be a big challenge for a Danish family with a member with a disability. It requires planning. Today, families need to use their network to plan where and when it is possible to get the family member changed. As Mr Claus Lund Albertsen, Sales Director at Care Nordic at Pressalit, says: "A simple trip to, for example, a shopping centre or an amusement park can be impossible or humiliating and undignified, if there are no adequate accessible toilet with a change table".

 

More dignity

According to Claus Lund Albertsen, there is a need for many more accessible toilets in Denmark, as they create more dignity and freedom for people with disabilities and their families: "Many children, young people and adults with physical disabilities need a shower and change table to lie on for personal care and diaper changing. Unfortunately, Danish public toilets for people with disabilities do not have a change table mattress for young people and adults, but only a small change table for babies. This means you have to lie on a dirty toilet floor to change diaper or clothes – this is humiliating. And for this reason, many people choose to stay at home".

 

The LINAK® partnership

Pressalit is best known for their toilet seats, but the company also designs, develops and manufactures bathroom accessories and height-adjustable kitchens. The company focuses on solutions for people with disabilities and reduced mobility. Pressalit makes extensive use of LINAK products, because their solutions must be electrically adjustable to provide the users and carers with the best experience.

About the choice of LINAK as a supplier, Claus Lund Albertsen says: "LINAK delivers quality, which harmonises with the Pressalit strategy to develop and produce high-quality products. User safety must be of the highest standard, and all our products are thoroughly tested.

Pressalit Spaces: Toilet and sink, adjusted with actuators from LINAKWashbasins and toilets are adjusted with actuators from LINAK
 

It is very important to us that the products from LINAK are well documented, as the documentation must be presented for our products to be certified".

 

England and the US lead the way

In Denmark, we are mainly used to standard toilets for people with disabilities, where there is rarely enough space or the right facilities to change a large child or adult. It is a different story in the UK. Mr Andrew Lowndes, Sales Manager UK at Pressalit explains: "Here in the UK, there are now around 1,700 changing place facilities on locations with public access. These include airports, shopping centres, amusement parks, train stations, rest areas, museums, educational institutions, and hospitals".

In the UK, changing places have gained a lot of popularity, and Andrew Lowndes believes the reason to be the changed recommendations in the Disabled Access Regulations for buildings. Also, many public changing places in the UK receive public funding.

In the US, it is a different story. There are different rules and regulations in the different states. In Claus Lund Albertsen's experience, it is mainly the relatives who are fighting to establish adequate changing facilities. They have been successful in several places, and accessibility is also increasing in the US.

 

Denmark on board

In Denmark, there are not that many public changing places with the necessary facilities. According to Claus Lund Albertsen, one of the reasons is the lack of focus on the topic in Denmark. However, this is changing: "We expect a growth in the area of changing facilities, as more and more countries are beginning to realise the importance of this".

Specifically in Denmark, Pressalit has presented a concept that will set the standard for changing places in the future. The name is "Pressalit Spaces" and covers an entire building including all the facilities that a person with disabilities and their carer need in a changing situation.

Several of the components in the building contain products with actuators from LINAK – both the height-adjustable shower and change table, the height-adjustable washbasin and the height-adjustable toilet.

Pressalit Spaces: The exterior of a toilet facility on sitePressalit Spaces building
 

"It is crucial for us that the components in the new changing place facility are height adjustable. This way, users and carers can adapt the room exactly to their needs, so they get the best experience", concludes Claus Lund Albertsen.

At the time of writing, Pressalit Spaces is only available in Denmark, and users should be approved by the Disabled People's Organisations Denmark (DPOD). Read more about Pressalit Spaces and how to get access on their Danish website.

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