Dementia-friendly signage for public toilets at Southmead Hospital

Friday, 4 August 2017

We have made a number of our public toilets more accessible for patients and visitors with dementia.

Dementia-friendly toilet signs in Endoscopy

New signage has been erected after members of staff contributed to a research letter into dementia-friendly public toilets, led by Professor Andrea Tales, funded by BRACE and published today on The Lancet medical journal website.

The research project, titled ‘Toilet Paper’, explains how standard signage for public toilets can be confusing for those living with dementia, and details ways in which organisations and businesses can make toilets more accessible. Professor Andrea Tales’ earlier research into people with dementia’s ability to process visual information was carried out at North Bristol NHS Trust.

We have already installed dementia-friendly signage in a number of our wards and the Endoscopy department at Southmead Hospital, along with a red raised toilet seat. Last year, Southmead Hospital Charity funded dementia-friendly toilet signage for the Acute Medical Unit.

Over the coming weeks, we are installing dementia-friendly toilet signs in public toilets in the Emergency Department at Southmead Hospital.

The signage is placed at eye level so that it is more obvious, with visual cues such as images of toilets and showers. The signage includes bold writing in large print on a yellow background, making it eye-catching and easier to read.

Our clinical lead for dementia and signatory for the Toilet Paper, Judy Haworth said: “The dementia-friendly signage is not just about making public toilets more accessible for those living with dementia. It’s also about empowerment. The signage will help people with dementia feel more confident in finding public toilets, and lessen the need to rely on someone else in these situations.”