There are a number of things you can do which make going out easier for you and your loved one.
When going places, knowing there are toilets you can access is very important. More so if you are caring for someone who needs a bit of extra help to access toilets easily.
Just Can't Wait Card
If either of you has a bowel or bladder problem and needs to use a toilet urgently, you can apply for a 'Just Can't Wait' Card from the Bowel & Bladder Community. It might help you access a toilet quickly when needed. It is also available as an iPhone App. To read more
A Radar Key
A Radar Toilet Key allows people living with a disability access to disabled toilet facilities nationwide. The key is available to anyone with a disability or health condition needing either more room or needs someone to help them in the toilet. The key gives you access to 9000 accessible toilets throughout the UK. There will be a small charge for the key.
Who can get a toilet key?
There is no need to provide proof of disability. Parents can apply on behalf of disabled children, spouses can apply on behalf of each other and those considered to have a mental illness also qualify. The keys are given on trust that the applicant considers themselves or the person they are caring for to be disabled.
Bedford Borough Council:
Customer Contact Centre, 2 Horne Lane, Bedford, MK40 1RA
01234 718 060
Central Bedfordshire Council:
Disability Resource Centre, Poynters House, Poynters Road, Dunstable, LU5 4TP
01582 470 900
Priory House, Monks Walk, Chicksands, Shefford, SG17 5TQ
or order online at the www.disabilityrightsuk.org
If a standard accessible toilet does not meet your loved one's needs, the Changing Places may be able to help. This is a campaign for toilets which have more space, a height-adjustable change bench and a hoist.
There are over 1000 toilets nationwide registered on the website; six within Bedfordshire. To read more.
You can apply for a Blue Badge if you:
- Receive the Higher Rate of the Mobility Component of the DLA
- Receive the moving around descriptor for the Mobility Component of PIP with a score of 8 or more points
- Are registered blind
- Are certified as having a permanent and substantial disability which causes inability to walk or very considerable difficulty walking
For further information read Applying for a Blue Badge by the Citizens Advice Bureau
Bedford Borough Council
Central Bedford Council
It is possible for a carer of a person with a disability or a condition to access the venue free of charge, if they are needed to help the person with a disability to attend.
The Essential Companion Card allows a person to bring one or two carers or companions with them, free of charge. The person with the disability / condition applies for the card and this allows them to take different carers as necessary.
For further discounts use Carersmart (Carers Trust) to receive a 10% off a National Trust gift cards
The person with a disability or condition can ask for a letter from the English Heritage stating that then need one or two carers/companions to help them access the property.
Ring 0370 333 1181 for further details
Local English Heritage Properties
Audley End House & Gardens
Other local tourist sites with carer concessions
The Access Card is for people with disabilities so they can access things such as concessionary tickets or complex reasonable adjustments without having to go into personal detail. It can be connected to the Ticket Factory as well. It costs £15 for 3 years. To Read More
The CEA Card by the UK Cinema Association – enables a disabled cinema guest to receive a complimentary ticket for someone to go with them when they visit a participating cinema. Proof of eligibility is needed plus £6.00. To read more
Dementia Friendly Friendly Film Club, Dunstable
Community Works 4U
Film club for adults with learning disabilities and/or autism, Dunstable
Community Works 4U
Oden Silver Cinema, Milton Keynes
for the over 55+
If you are planning to use a train, you can find about what the train services can offer. To read more
You can also apply for rail cards which can give you discounts.
Disabled Person’s Railcard - Receiving certain benefits
Senior Railcard – anyone aged 60 or over – 1/3 off rail fares
Two Together Railcard – two named adults travelling together – 1/3 off rail fares
Carers in Bedfordshire runs 16 groups where you can attend with the person you care for. These include:
Carers Cafes – Bedford, Biggleswade, Dunstable, Eaton Bray, Houghton Regis, Leighton Buzzard
Parkside Drop-in, Ampthill
Barton Carers Group, Barton Le Clay
Tea & Toast Drop-in, Biggleswade
Dunstable Downs Drop-in
Houghton Regis Group
Leighton Buzzard Drop-in
Other Social Groups
There are plenty of social groups throughout Bedfordshire for you to attend. If you are having difficulty accessing local groups then the Village & Community Agents - Bedford Borough (BRCC) might be able to help. Contact them on 0800 039 1234.
The Advice Central helpline can help you find groups throughout Central Bedfordshire.