People should be able to use the toilet in private in any care setting whatever their age or physical ability, according to the British Geriatric Society.
This is the primary aim of the 'Dignity Behind Closed Doors' campaign which focuses on how patients' toileting needs are met, as well as the design and location of the toilet facilities.
Access to appropriate toileting is being used by the society as a marker to monitor the wider problem of providing dignified care to older people.
A number of resources have been developed to support the campaign including:
- 'Behind Closed Doors' leaflets;
- 'Behind Closed Doors' standards;
- An environmental audit;
- A decision aid for toilet use in any care setting;
- A checklist for lay people.
The British Geriatric Society is working in partnership with a number of organisations including InContact, Continence Foundation, Carers UK, RCN and Age Concern England.
A report A New Ambition for Older Age published earlier this year by the Department of Health identified negative attitudes and behaviour of care staff to older people as a barrier to dignified care.
See www.bgs.org.uk/campaigns/dignity.htm for more information.