Creating a dementia-friendly public washroom requires solutions to the needs and challenges that individuals living with dementia may face. Here are some tips to make your washroom more dementia-friendly:
Use clear and simple signage with large, easy-to-read fonts and images.
Ensure that signage directs users to essential areas such as toilets, sinks, and exits.
Downloaded our dispenser guidance posters.
Use colour contrast to highlight key features, such as toilet seats, grab bars and dispensers.
Ensure that walls and floors have contrasting colours to make it easier for individuals with dementia to distinguish between different surfaces.
Ensure the washroom is well-lit to reduce shadows and improve visibility. Use natural light whenever possible.
Install non-slip flooring to prevent accidents.
Avoid using highly reflective or glossy surfaces that can be confusing or disorienting.
Choose simple and easy-to-use fixtures and dispensers, such as lever-style taps and push button soap dispensers.
Minimise the use of complicated or unfamiliar technology.
Train staff members to be aware of the specific needs of individuals with dementia. Training guidance is available from the Alzheimer's Society: https://www.dementiafriends.org.uk/
Encouraging someone with dementia to wash their hands can be challenging, but here are some simple actions that may help:
Provide clear and simple instructions:
Break down the steps in the hand washing process into easy-to-understand tasks, using visual cues if possible.
Use Visual Aids:
Place signs in the washroom to guide the person through the handwashing process. Images or simple written instructions can be helpful reminders.
Gently remind the person to wash their hands using verbal and visual prompts.
Make it Enjoyable:
Ensure handwashing is a pleasant experience. Use scented soap or play calming music in the background. Ensure the water is warm but that it cannot become too hot. Making the activity enjoyable can make it more appealing.
Ensure that the washroom environment is comfortable and familiar. Adjust lighting, minimise clutter and make sure the soap and paper towels are easily accessible.