Toilets are a necessity for everyone, but if they are dirty, in disrepair or just downright odd this is a nightmare too, especially for someone with a stoma or a bowel condition like Crohns disease or ulcerative colitis . We spend a fair bit of time in them so it is very important.
Take the one in the photo for example. Look closely and you can see a very odd toilet layout. In the reflection of the tiles you can see the bowl right ? now look where the loo roll is……. yep 5ft above your head. What the hell is that about? This was in a Wetherspoons in Camden. I wouldn’t mind but the loo roll dispenser has to be the most annoying one ever too. I have seen some strange or filthy toilets in my time but never one where the loo roll was so out of reach. I was so bewildered by this, that I decided to tweet Wetherspoons about it. They replied and said that a lot of toilets were set up like this, I disagree I have been to a few and none of them were set up like this. If there are others, I feel it means they have a complete lack of interest in their customers and they should be embarrassed.
I have decided to check out some others, and name and shame or congratulate the owners. In fact if anyone would like to join in and send me any pics of toilets good and bad, I might do a poll or toilet wall, and send the owners a “Tomas trophy” for best and worst.
I know that people can use them and cause a mess.
But on the other hand staff should check them regularly for their customers. This loo was ok but the floor was dreadful, you don’t want your trouser leg in that when you pull your bottoms down.
What about the wonky loo seat? Not nice for most folk, but for us ostomates who sit right back on the seat to empty our bags its awful.
And if anyone has pee’d on it……..
You might say that we could be the dirty ones because we empty our poo into the loo regularly, but let me assure you that most of us are super careful and super aware of what we are doing and where it will go, and because we clean the bags etc we clean where we have been as well. The last thing we want is for someone to use the loo after us, and know what we have been doing. In particular, if we are at a friends and need to use the loo, their is no way in the world that I want to leave any evidence that I have a bag ( even if they know)
I prefer the disabled toilets, yes I am allowed to use them and yes, if anyone dares question me I will tell them why I am allowed to use them, and possibly I might even show them. These seem to be cleaner because they are not used as often I suppose, and they are bigger for us to sort ourselves out properly, although most of these don’t have a decent shelf to put essentials on, so if anyone is reading this who has toilets, be a dear and stick a shelf up.
How about this in Japan?
Many Japanese ostomates are hesitant to leave home and have active lives in the community because they worry about how they will empty their pouches or handle leakage problems should they occur away from home. It is particularly stressful and instills panic to deal with leakage of stool or urine while in public. In a JOA survey, 50% of ostomates reported these helpless feelings.
Therefore, it can be said that the availability of public toilet facilities to meet ostomates’ needs is the key to their sense of well-being and rehabilitation in the community.
(Can you imagine our government going this far? This is fantastic to see, I just happened to come across it when googling.) There is more…
b) Small-sized sink with a warm water nozzle (for discarding stool in the pouch and washing in an upright position)
c) Wash stand
d) Medium-sized sink with a mirror and a hand held warm water shower (for washing or changing the wafer, and for rinsing and cleaning the peristomal skin)
e) Large and deep sink (for washing soiled clothes, etc.)
4) Preparation of the Environment
– Clear instructions on how to use each facility and its equipment
– Control of access to the toilet room. Easy access and use by ostomates is the basic premise, but safeguards against use by unauthorized persons are also important, especially at transportation terminals.
– Signage indicating the availability of ostomate facilities should be clearly visible at the entrance of each toilet room.
The installation and practical use of toilets for ostomates in Japan is just beginning, and we are in the process of trial and error to establish an optimum facility. To attain this goal, ostomates must be responsible for cooperating with the related authorities, owner organizations, and facility developers on all stages from planning to use and improvement.
It is expected that with increased availability of toilets for ostomates throughout the country, the rehabilitation of ostomates into the community will be accelerated, providing a better Quality of Life for Japanese ostomates.
It is also hoped that through this initiative, public awareness of ostomates’ problems will be enhanced.
This just blew me away……..
3) The ease of using the facilities and equipment must be examined in view of the flow of an ostomate’s body movements and various changes of posture required from the start to the end of caring for his problem (such as changing the entire pouching system, standing, sitting, etc).
How amazing if this were to happen in our lifetime, no one with any disability would have to worry about going out incase of problems ever again. The other amazing thing is that they have rolled this out over many parts of Japan but we don’t even have one on colorectal wards let alone anywhere else.