NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – We are all familiar with baby changing stations in public restrooms as they provide a great service for parents when they are out and about. But what if you have an elderly or disabled person who has the same needs?
The Tennessee Department of Transportation and the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities are beginning to install adult changing tables at Tennessee rest areas and welcome centers on our interstates.
Before the end of the year, TDOT will be installing adult changing stations at four locations, including the I-65 welcome center in Robertson County near Mitchellville. They hope to continue to add more in the future.
“It’s a great benefit to those who are both residents of our state who are utilizing our facilities, as well as those who are traveling through the state of Tennessee and need these facilities,” said TDOT Commissioner Butch Eley.
“We see the needs of folks that may just need a little bit of help,” explained Brad Turner, Tennessee Commissioner of Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. “Whether it’s a new mother who wants to know, ‘Where do I go to change my newborn child?’ or it’s someone who has an elderly parent, or a family with a child or an adult with disabilities that wants to visit Dollywood or go to Graceland and travel Tennessee, because tourism is important to us, we’re letting them know that we see them.”
“Before we provided this service, many of our adults had to be changed on the floor or in the car. Or worse, maybe the family decided not to take a trip at all,” Commissioner Eley noted.
And these changing tables have an important feature.
“These are the ones that can be controlled to be raised or lowered, based on the need of the individual,” Commissioner Turner explained. “So, if you have a caregiver that may struggle picking an individual up, we’ve made sure that we’ve given extra attention to that. It’s not just stationary on a wall, but it can be raised or lowered.”
They hope to continue to add this feature to additional Tennessee rest areas and welcome centers in the future.