Interview with Liesbeth Gaasbeek, the director of Golden Days, one of the “Toilet for me too” consortium members.

Why is Gouden Dagen partner in the European project Toilet For Me?

If there is no suitable toilet on the way, people will stay at home. For the elderly, it is very important to undertake activities outside the home to prevent loneliness. We participate in Toilet For Me because we want to remove this barrier for the elderly who want to get out and about.

The European project Toilet For Me is developing a modern supportive toilet for public space. Accessible, easy to use and clean. With modern functions such as a shower- WC, a stand-up support, automatically adjustable height, fall detection.

The experience of ‘our’ elderly people who are going to use such a toilet is necessary to come to a good design. Of course they know very well what is needed.

How does this toilet change the lives of the elderly?

If there is a suitable toilet in public spaces, for example restaurants, libraries, elderly and people with a (mobility) disability can go out and do fun things! Shopping, theater or cinema, visit family. And that makes life better. It is also easier for informal carers and care staff to go out with the elderly when there is a smart supportive toilet available.

What is the current status of the Toilet For Me?

The first prototype toilet was tested last winter. We learned a lot from the elderly who used the toilet. The technical partners are now working on a new version. This is a very nice phase, we really go from wish to reality! This summer, the next version of the modern toilet will be ready. We will then test this toilet at a Golden Days location with the residents and staff. Testing will also take place in Poland and Belgium.