Should public buildings have dementia-friendly toilets?

Discussion in 'Alzheimer's Society notices' started by SophieD, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. SophieD

    SophieD Administrator
    Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2018
    941
    London
    Hi everyone!

    Alzheimer's Society is assisting Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government with their proposal to add Changing Places toilets to more than 150 new buildings per year across England. This could include shopping centres, supermarkets, cinemas, stadiums and arts venues.

    Standard accessible toilets do not meet the needs of all people, which is why the Changing Places toilets are needed.

    Each Changing Places toilet provides:
    • The right equipment: a height adjustable adult-sized changing table, a tracking hoist system
    • Enough space: for a person and carer, a centrally placed toilet with room either side, screen/curtain for privacy
    • A safe and clean environment: wide tear off paper to cover the bench, a large waste bin for disposable pads and a non-slip floor
    Changing Places toilet.jpg

    Our Policy, Campaigns & Partnerships team would like to ask you:
    1. Do you support the Government’s intention to increase the number of Changing Places toilets?
    2. Do you think the Government should make Changing Places toilets a legal requirement in Building Regulations?
    3. What types of large public places do you think require Changing Places toilets? For example, airports, hotels, shopping centers, libraries, etc
    Please feel free to leave your thoughts below. Feedback will be used as part of Alzheimer’s Society consultation response to the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government.

    Thank you :)
     
  2. Alex54

    Alex54 Registered User

    Oct 15, 2018
    114
    Male
    Newtown, Wales
    If the Government defined additional guidelines, it should also provide the funds to cover the costs involved.
     
  3. Countryboy

    Countryboy Registered User

    Mar 17, 2005
    1,407
    Male
    Cornwall
    Hi I don’t think people are living in the real world here, if you live or visit a Village Town or seaside resort in Cornwall you would be lucky to fins a Toilet let alone a disabled one, and unfortunately those areas that did provide a toilet facility such as playing fields etc the toilets get vandalised criminals rip out the copper piping the Council decided many years ago to put in stainless wash basins and toilet pans did they not realize that Stainless steel is a scrap metal even more incentive for criminals to earn a bit of cash it wont change
     
  4. SophieD

    SophieD Administrator
    Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2018
    941
    London
  5. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Registered User

    Apr 1, 2016
    2,685
    Nottinghamshire
    I'm afraid this would've been of no use to us. By the time my dad was at the stage of needing to be changed (he was never hoisted) he was in an EMI home and I didn't feel confident taking him out at all. I don't think he'd have enjoyed being out either.

    The only places my dad enjoyed going to on later stages were garden centres for lunch or the pub for lunch. Having to provide facilities like these would have made the visits expensive I expect so we used to stay local and timing was everything!!!

    Another thing is I wouldn't have been comfortable with changing my dad so our trips out were between care visits.

    Would these be value for money? Or yet another expensive, badly thought out, government initiative..
     
  6. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    18,623
    Male
    North Manchester
  7. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Registered User

    Apr 1, 2016
    2,685
    Nottinghamshire
    I did wonder about that nitram. I can see them being useful for some people but the ones I've known with dementia were all too poorly to benefit by the time they needed something like this.
     
  8. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    18,623
    Male
    North Manchester
    Changing a pad on an ambulatory person in a normal accessibility toilet is difficult.
     
  9. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    58,955
    Female
    Dundee
    Our local museum has such a changing place. My husband didn't need the changing table but I found it so much easier there than in ordinary disabled toilets. The space meant I had room to manoeuvre the wheelchair easily. I felt much less stressed there than in other disabled access toilets.
     
  10. northumbrian_k

    northumbrian_k Registered User

    Mar 2, 2017
    653
    Male
    Newcastle
    There is a stage before this where a person with dementia can manage to go to the toilet independently (just about), or may need some help, but not to the extent of requiring a Changing Places toilet as such. At that stage they may become flustered because they can't work out where the flush is or how to get toilet paper or water from the taps (my wife has told me many times that she has not been able to wash her hands), or the drier does not work as they expect, they don't know how to lock the door, or (worse) lock the door but can't get out again - my wife has done this repeatedly, long before dementia. Then there is the question of a man being able to help a woman (or vice versa) without compromising the privacy of others.

    There is more to 'dementia-friendly' toilets than what is offered by Changing Places. In public spaces, at least, it would be good if over time a standardised form of toilet, basin, door lock and so on could be introduced.

    But, unfortunately, I agree with @Countryboy that such aspirations are most unlikely to be met in the real world ...
     
  11. SophieD

    SophieD Administrator
    Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2018
    941
    London
    Some really interesting points have been raised so far. Thank you to everyone who has shared their thoughts.
     
  12. Alex54

    Alex54 Registered User

    Oct 15, 2018
    114
    Male
    Newtown, Wales
    We went out today to one of the large national brands of restaurants. The disabled toilet was easy to reach, large and clean/tidy. Rather than impose requirements on businesses I think it is more important that companies take pride in the services they offer.
     
  13. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,354
    Female
    My mother is now becoming incontinent, and she has also become very frail and unable to engage with the outside world, there is no way she would be going to a cinema or any of the other venues mentioned.

    I would have thought a regular disabled toilet would work for most PWDs needs. The toilets at my mother's care home are effectively just disabled toilets, large enough for the PWD plus two carers if necessary, which works fine.
     
  14. SophieD

    SophieD Administrator
    Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2018
    941
    London
    @Sirena @Alex54 It's good to hear that the disabled toilets you mention in both a large national restaurant and a care home seem to work well and have a number of positives.

    Thank you for sharing :)
     
  15. Wifenotcarer

    Wifenotcarer Registered User

    Mar 11, 2018
    206
    Central Scotland
    By the time a PWD has major continence issues, I think most primary carers have given up trying to take them to Cinemas, Theatres, Bowling, etc. There are though occasions/locations where such toilets are a necessity. From personal experience I would list the Crematorium, village hall (where the Pensioner's Lunch is) Shopping Centre (where I HAD to take OH as he needed to try on new shoes) Outpatients clinic and Dr's surgeries (where you often have long waits), Stations and bus stations.
    There are facilities in Airports, but not on flights so I would not attempt that. We have done a 5 hour ferry trip (CalMac) and their disabled toilet was excellent and roomy.
     
  16. SophieD

    SophieD Administrator
    Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2018
    941
    London
  17. dasntn

    dasntn Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    14
    North Devon
    My wife is now incontinent but we still go out. The incontinence underwear helps a lot, as we had a number of accidents just before I used them that were stressful to my wife.
    So far, we have found disabled toilets to be sufficient to meet our needs, and the changing places facilities do look to be more than I need now, but it's hard to say what it will be like in the months to come.
    My biggest issue with disabled toilets is when they are in the male or female spaces, rather than easily accessible to either sex. Not seen it often, thankfully, but a nightmare when that is the case. I'd rather see this as a legal requirement of building regulations.
     
  18. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    18,623
    Male
    North Manchester
    Part M acknowledges, but does not mandate, the preference for unisex provision for wheel chair access '..so a partner or care of different sex can enter to give assistance.' It makes no such preference for ambulants who, in the case of dementia, may well need assistance
    5.5 p48

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploa...chment_data/file/441786/BR_PDF_AD_M2_2015.pdf
     
  19. Lilye

    Lilye Registered User

    Oct 15, 2016
    10
    It would be a godsend if these toilets become a reality. My Mum has to now be fully hoisted as the Dementia has robbed her completely of any mobility in her legs.
    We find we cannot take Mum to far now because there is no toilet we can take her to with a hoist so she has to wear her incontinence pads which does help with any little accident she may have but of course its not really very nice for Mum plus there is the fear she may need to do more.
    The cost of supplying these toilets would be immense but surely certain towns/seasides would benefit massively.
     
  20. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    18,623
    Male
    North Manchester
    You can check by putting a postcode or town in
    http://changingplaces.uktoiletmap.org/
    the location of any nearby 'changing places'
    Town will give a larger geographical spread.
     

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