People with dementia can experience difficulties with using the toilet, in some cases, this is because of a medical condition which may be treatable but in other situations, it could be that they are not able to find, recognise, or use the toilet.
Having an accident is deeply distressing and can quickly develop into a difficult issue to manage with raised agitation, anxiety, stress and depression all adding to the problem.
Find has helped care homes and hospitals across the UK implement the “Find toilet strategy” to aid independence for residents and patients.
Below are some of the main points to consider when looking at how to reduce the number of accidents in your care facility.
- Use door fitted non-reflective signs that include both words and a picture.
The sign needs to be easy to read and clearly visible. Ideally positioned between 1200 and 1400mm from the floor
- Use the same colour for all toilet signs
The use of primary colours for toilet signs work best for high visibility.
From client feedback, red has been the most effective colour for this purpose. Red is the most noticeable colour in the spectrum and even nature uses red when something needs to be noticed. But red isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and other colours can work just as well. Blue is the most popular alternative.
- Use Handrails and raised toilet seats if mobility is a problem
Grab rails are a simple but effective solution for reducing falls in the bathroom. Satin finished rails are recommended for use in wet environments due to their non reflective surface.
Raised toilet seats are beneficial to anyone who has difficulty lowering to the height of a standard toilet seat. There are 3 three heights – 50mm, 100mm and 150mm.
Drop down support bars can provide more assistance than a grab rail when fitted close to the toilet to lean on when sitting and standing. They can also be folded out of the way for greater convenience.
Toilet frames are adjustable to fit around most toilet pans. They are light-weight and portable, yet very strong with a capacity of up to 190kg.
- Use contrasting colour to make the important features in the toilet and bathroom stand out
Using a different coloured toilet seat helps to distinguish it them from its surroundings making it more visible and easy to find. Additional features such as soft close hinges will also prevent the seat from slamming shut and creating a startling, loud noise.