Personalized doors help residents with dementia to find their way

Memory care residents can choose what door to choose. Or rather, what their door looks like.

Residents at Nashwaak Villa in Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada, can personalize their doors with non-flammable, washable large vinyl decals from the Holland company True Doors.

The decals are engaging residents and reminding them of their past while also helping them navigate the facility, which can often look alike and lead to confusion for residents who have trouble with wayfinding.

It’s empowered residents with choice and stimulated memories of doors from residents’ past, says Executive Director Daphne Noonan to the CBC.

Residents, perhaps with the help of their family, can choose a door decal from more than 400 doors of all colors in the catalog or provide a photo of a door that was important to them. One resident has a decal of a door resembling the church door where her daughter was married.

Personal support worker Pam Spilman found the idea on Facebook. She says that for many residents the door gives them a sense of both home and security.

The door decals give the doors—and the residential area—a whole new look.

“It’s just really changed the whole feel of the environment of our home when you walk through and you see that every door looks different…it looks like a real neighborhood,” Noonan says. “That was my biggest surprise, just how it changes the feel of our home.”

Topics: Alzheimer's/Dementia , Design