As any caregiver knows, changing a baby in a public restroom can be a challenge, even with changing tables available. Now imagine trying to change an adult with no access to adult-sized changing tables.
Wolfson Children's Hospital in Downtown Jacksonville has installed an adult-sized changing table, giving families of patients privacy and dignity.
The table is located inside a single-unit bathroom in a hallway connecting Wolfson Children's and Nemours Children's Specialty Care, Jacksonville. It folds down from the wall and has a remote control allowing users to easily move it up or down to transfer someone on and off the table.
Seventeen-year-old Joseph Horn was born with a developmental disorder that requires him to use a wheelchair. His mother, Christine Horn, says, "the biggest challenge with Joseph is he is needing to be changed throughout the day completely.”
For Christine Horn, it's difficult to change her son while he stands and most of the time, she ends up laying him on the floor in a public restroom.
Now the Horns and other families can change their loved ones who are incontinent in a sanitary and dignified way when visiting their doctors at Wolfson Children’s Hospital with the installation of their special needs adult changing table.
The table, which cost the hospital $7,000, can hold up to 400 pounds and is long enough to make people as tall as Joseph Horn comfortable.
Joseph Horn is a big fan of the table. “He loves it," Christine Horn said. "Because it comes down, he can sit, and then it goes up on the hydraulics to where you need to change him and you can change him in a clean environment.”
The idea for the adult changing table came from Marion Landua – Figueroa, a patient parent on the hospital’s Family Advisory Council. Three of her children have medical disabilities and are incontinent. She appreciates the effort Wolfson has made to accommodate these needs.
“That kind of table they purchased here at Wolfson also adds to the thoughtfulness of doing that,” Landua-Figueroa said.
Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville and the Wolfson Children's Critical Care Tower will also get a new special-needs changing table for adults and teens. That's set to open in early 2021.
In July, an emergency ordinance set forth by Councilman Danny Becton was passed which requires some businesses with public restrooms in Jacksonville to install adult changing tables.
Businesses like theaters, restaurants, convention centers and stadiums undergoing new construction or renovations over 50 percent will have to install an adult changing table by Jan. 1.