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Photo #166524

[Image taken 31.3.21] In February 2021, the ladies loos were relocated. The new handwashing facilities (from Dyson) are so unlike taps and dryers there are now posters to show how to use them. (If you need a video there's one on the Dyson website, and prices: www.dyson.co.uk/commercial/hand-dryers/airblade-wash-dry-short) The dryers operate at a typical Dyson volume: very, very loud. The doors to the cubicles are indistinguishable from the surrounds. I struggle to use these facilities. I am afraid people with sight issues, and conditions such as dementia will just be confused to the point of not being able to use them.
A spokesperson for Dementia UK said:
"The issue of Dementia friendly public toilets has been raised and researched in the past with various organisations.
Research evidence shows that dementia can damage the attention system, not just the memory. This means people with the condition are less able to process the information around them, and to filter out things which are irrelevant. This is why the design of public toilets and signage are especially important in making them more accessible to people with dementia.
Where public toilets are provided, poor design and signage are often barriers to independent use, particularly for people living with dementia. Inadequate toilet facilities have distressing consequences. They mean a lower quality of life for people with dementia, and increased levels of anxiety when out and about.
Those affected by dementia have a great need to quickly find, use, and safely exit a public toilet or a toilet within a shop or restaurant. But they face some of the greatest difficulties in doing so.
For those living with dementia, the ability to live a normal life through day to day activities such as shopping or meeting friends in the community is affected. This can lead to social isolation, loneliness and a loss of independence.
It is not just people with dementia who are affected by this situation. Many older adults avoid going about their everyday lives because of the inaccessible nature and lack of publically available toilet facilities.
A... ...small improvements can make a big difference, such as having clear entrance and exit signs. Toilet facilities lacking these can cause distress and embarrassment and a reluctance to use the facility in future.
Common examples include carers having to enter opposite-sex toilets to guide their partners out, or the person going through the wrong door and becoming lost.
A fire exit sign showing someone running with a directional arrow is also easily misunderstood as an exit sign. Similarly, doors that are both a fire exit and the route back to a public area can cause confusion.
Design guidelines for making public toilets more dementia-friendly are already in the public domain. They include, using familiar or automatic flush systems, non-reflective surfaces, good lighting, contrast between doors and surroundings and between the toilet and toilet seat, sinks that do not resemble urinals, well labelled taps and soap dispensers, and the careful placing of mirrors.
Only by raising awareness of this need, will the situation improve. Local authorities, retailers and businesses on the high street, community groups all have a part to play.
Public bodies such as local authorities even have a duty in law to make reasonable adjustments that mean people with conditions such as dementia are able to use their services, including when providing toilets."
See also: #166525, (cycle parking) #165416 (ticket office no cycles sign): #165419. Rawcliffe Bar Park & Ride loos: #167104

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