About one hour drive north from Adelaide you will find the township of Nuriootpa in the Barossa Valley. Although Nuri, as it is known locally, is home to some of the best culinary experiences in the Barossa, it isn’t the tantalising treats on offer that has Changing Places so excited (although a coffee and cake from one of the many fine local cafes wouldn’t go astray!)
In Nuri you will also find Barossa Village, a retirement and aged care service provider for the region offering residential living, supported accommodation, both in-home and residential care, as well as lifestyle and wellbeing programs.
Amongst the many things on offer at Barossa Village is their Allied Health Centre, that includes a purpose-built hydrotherapy pool which Barossa Village recognise as an important aspect to help physiological wellbeing. Ben Hall, General Manager of Service Delivery at Barossa Village, has been involved in the development of other Changing Places in South Australia, wanted the Villages’ new hydrotherapy facility to join the growing list of Changing Places in Australia to make sure that it met the needs of all potential clientele.
“Hydrotherapy is something that is fantastic for people with mobility issues. Not only are we able to provide the service itself but ensure users are supported with their bathroom and access needs in a way that is not only functional, but maintains their dignity,” says Ben.
The Changing Places, which is located within the hydrotherapy facility was delivered in 2020 so unfortunately hasn’t had its full glory of being able to welcome as many users as yet, however the Village is keen for the facility, as well as the Hydrotherapy pool, to be utilised. Currently opening hours are 6am – 9am for community access to the Hydrotherapy Pool, and other times are through Allied Health Providers that use the facility.
“Before we built ours [Changing Places facility], the nearest was roughly 64 kilometres away, and now there is 2 in our region”.
When asked where Ben would like to see more Changing Places pop up around the state, not only did he echo this idea of building opportunity to regions, but also reflected that we need to ensure existing key destinations are not overlooked.
“Where there are key destination points, it would be great to see Changing Places. We provide alternative forms of transport so that people can access these places, so why not have Changing Places for people who can’t utilise the existing bathroom facilities there too?
“It’s easy to take for granted being able to use any bathroom. We need to start thinking about those who plan their day around accessible facilities.”
So, what are you waiting for? Organisations looking to get started building their own Changing Places facility should visit our getting started page to find out where to begin.