The design challenge within the Friendly Rest Room project has been to anticipate the needs of individual users, in particular older persons and people with disabilities, and to combine this with serving the needs of a far less specific audience, of secondary users (e.g. caretakers, cleaning personnel) and even tertiary users (e.g. facility managers). From start it was clear that the participating project partners did not all share the same view and expectations about how to approach the big design challenge to and about the exact process to follow. The first exploration of the use of a rest room by older or disabled users and additional statistics on accidents showed that many problems occur while entering the rest room, moving through the rest room and while preparing for toileting. The design team focused strongly on finding feasible solutions aimed to improve physical safety and the perception of safety. Ergonomic variables related to the use of a rest room played a central role. For that, the design team explored the use of a rest room by the target user groups and analysed the relation between functions in the rest room and potential user problems and risks. Based on those findings, it was proposed to distinguish three functional areas in a rest room: the access, the transfer and the toilet area. In 3 and later in 5 countries prototypes were built and tested. Finally the integrated version was user tested in a nursing home in Vienna during 3 months. The resulted knowledge was disseminated in a conference, in this book and several conference papers and a in a commercial version produced by Clear Solution, Debrecen Hungary.
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