Is Your Bespoke Signage Dementia-Friendly?

Changes to the bespoke signage for public toilet facilities has been in the news for quite some time now, with all sorts of big name brands taking action to ensure that the signs are fully inclusive to cover those who may have invisible disabilities.

But what about people who are living with dementia and finding day-to-day life an ever-increasing struggle? Mary Marshall of the University of Stirling – who has been campaigning for years for dementia-friendly toilets – noted that it’s important to understand how dementia and old age can impair people, whether it’s poor vision, not being able to see colour or failing to identify contrast. Ear and balance issues can also become problematic, Home Care reports.

“I’m amazed how seldom there are signs that say ‘dryers’ or ‘hands in here’ or something. It’s in tiny writing on the machine usually,” she observed – which might give you a bit of food for thought as to how you could make your own signs clearer to help people with dementia.

Ms Marshall also suggested putting toilet signs on the door to the bathroom itself, rather than on the walls or above toilet doors… as people with dementia may in fact not be able to work out where the toilet is. Installing basic exit signs might also be a good idea in public facilities so that people can see where they need to go to leave the toilet.

Director of operations at the Alzheimer’s Society Kathryn Smith added that dementia-friendly toilets can reduce barriers like getting lost in bathrooms, as well as improving safety of people with dementia and giving them greater independence for longer.

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