The conversations of life

‘True Doors’ helps aged care feel like home for dementia residents


Earlier this week at the Royal Commission hearings, we heard from some Assistants-in-Nursing (AINs) on their experience caring for residents living with dementia. They told us about the importance of having memories from home in residents’ rooms, which can help calm them during times they may become agitated, confused or distressed.

One of the AINs pointed out a central problem – that many of the home’s doors will be white. As people with dementia can’t distinguish white-on-white, residents can sometimes struggle to identify their personal room.

Enter True Doors – an organisation specialising in creating decal designs that replicate everyday doors (pictured), so residents can feel more at home.

It’s a growing trend in residential aged care around the country, but residents at Bordertown Hospital’s Charla Lodge in South Australia are some of the latest to try them out.

The doors were designed in Amsterdam and residents were able to choose from 15 different designs. The hospital’s leisure lifestyle coordinator, Sharon Rothe, said they’ve been a huge success.

“We can’t change the building structurally, so we’ve done the next best thing by adding some fantastic designs and colours to the existing area,” she said.

“Projects like this shows that we care about our residents and their families, because we want them to feel like they are living in a home away from home.”

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