Sainsbury’s introduce Dementia-friendly toilets

Sainsbury’s has become the first supermarket to introduce ‘dementia-friendly’ signs in all store toilets, thanks to a campaigning pensioner who was repeatedly forced to rescue her husband – who suffered from Alzheimer’s – as he tried to find his way to and from the loos. The make-over will include large, colourful ‘way out’ signs to prevent confusion among customers who suffer with memory problems.

Many hospitals have also taken measures to become more dementia-friendly over the past few years, incorporating high-contrast measures to show where the floor joins the wall, visual breaks to mark where handrails are ending and doors painted in distinctive colour. Researchers have also identified that light plays a key role for elderly people, with estimates suggesting that people over the age of 75 need roughly twice as much light as their younger contemporaries in order to see satisfactorily.

Commenting on Sainsbury’s decision, Emma Bould – programme partnership project manager at the Alzheimer’s Society – said:

“We are delighted to see toilets with dementia friendly signage being installed nationally at all Sainsbury’s stores by March 2018. Finding and exiting toilets can often be confusing for people living with dementia, causing anxiety when they are out and about. This small but significant step will enable people with dementia to quickly find the exit, while also making the route clearer to all customers.”

Sainsburys store front