Toilet talk: Accessible design for people with dementia

Why are public toilets so hard to find and often challenging to use? It's a topic few people want to talk about but one that is vital to the dignity of many older people and people living with dementia.

Professor Mary Marshall is one of the world's leading experts on design for people with dementia and she is alarmed by how little regard is being shown for accessible dementia design in the provision of public toilets.

In this brief ebook, Mary pushes past the 'anxious laughter' which often greets this topic, and speaks frankly about what good, accessible toilet and bathroom design looks like, and why it is desperately needed.

"Toilet talk: Accessible design for people with dementia is a result of many years in the field of design for people with dementia, and an increasing awareness, often from people with dementia themselves, of the challenges they face in finding and using toilets in public places. Although this book is relevant for private houses and places specifically designed for people with dementia, its focus is on public buildings. It is crucially important that we make it possible for people with dementia to get out and about with everyone else."

For example, Mary addresses issues of:

  • impacts of ageing and dementia on sensory perception
  • reasons for increased need for accessing toilets in a dignified way
  • confusing or badly positioned signs
  • indecipherable taps, buttons, paper holders and other accessories
  • poor or no contrast in toilets rendering their elements almost invisible.

Toilet talk is just that, a conversation starter about a topic most people would prefer remains hidden. But the result of badly designed or inaccessible toilets is that older people and people with dementia will be less able to participate in normal life away from home. They may be forced to restrict their activity or face being embarrassed and distressed by a problem that could easily be addressed with some care and attention to good design principles.

The Dementia Centre and HammondCare Media are proud to partner with author Mary Marshall in making this short book available for free by PDF download. Toilet talk will also be available as a Kindle ebook for 99c in the near future.

To download the e-book, click here

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