Julan, 76 year old, retired, lives independently in a small village in The Netherlands. “I can only use the toilet in my own home. This means when I am out-of-home I have to be helped by someone with a lot of strength to be able to place me on the toilet, et cetera.”. This is one of the stories to be found in the report that was published after the building awareness phase.
Existing commercial sanitary products from the local market were used and tested by primary and secondary users at the user partners’ test sites in Poland, The Netherlands, Belgium and Romania. Supportive toilets with a selection of modern functions like stand-up support, adjustable height, a shower-WC, etc. were tested.
Primary users (elderly and people with disabilities) 61 in total and 39 secondary users (informal and formal caregivers) were involved in this research, 100 users total. Additionally, 154 users were involved in an online poll on accessible toilets outside home.
Juan was one of them. The use of the toilet is often problematic for him for example the door is often difficult to open and close, barely or impossible to lock or the light suddenly goes out. “I often cannot stand close to the toilet because of a trash can or something like that. It is also often too small or poorly laid out.” – he says.
For the next project phase it is planned to intensify co-design based on hands-on evaluation of first prototypes which already implement the proposed advanced functions.