Dementia can affect people in many different ways, but we don’t often think about the seemingly simplest of tasks, such as going to the toilet. Although public places signpost directions to toilet facilities well, finding your way back through the maze of doors and corridors that can lead to bathrooms can be a difficult journey for those with dementia.
It makes sense that if you need directions to somewhere, you will often require directions back the way you came. However, many restaurants, shopping centres, and even doctors’ surgeries do not take this into account, which can be a hinderance for people with dementia. As dementia tends to affect the short-term memory more so than long-term, it’s important that signage is clear and available in order to help those who suffer.
Perceptual problems also mean that even when signage is implemented, those who suffer from dementia may misinterpret signs and instructions, making it all the more important to install dementia-friendly signage. Often when people are diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s, they are sometimes rehoused in a care home or assisted living. This change of scenery and location can be extremely confusing and requires a range of signage that should explain everything clearly to residents.
The very best signage should enable people with dementia to gain a level of independence back. By ensuring that simple tasks, such as going to the toilet, are signposted well, ensures that individuals can keep their privacy when using the bathroom, as well as ensuring they accomplish tasks on their own. This promotes self-confidence and can improve the general demeanour and well-being of someone living with dementia.
Directional toilet signage and signage inside toilets is also vital for the safety of those using the facilities. For example, there may be extremely hot water or water not suitable for drinking, which needs to be clearly labelled by both words and images.
Investing in dementia friendly signage for all public spaces would be a great step forward for the whole country. Currently 850,000 people live with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease in the UK and, with so many of us living longer, this figure is on the rise.
If you require specialist dementia signage for your business or care home, contact TP Signs today for further information.