A West Australian aged care facility is providing residents with a door to the past by transforming the entryways to rooms.
The Front Door project sees Bethanie residents’ doors decorated with unique designs, some of which may be similar to the front doors of previous homes or reflect a style of architecture or design they enjoy.
The concept, rolled out the provider’s Bethanie Fields facility in Eaton, aims to help trigger memories of residents’ past.
Bethanie occupational therapist Kristy Alexandratos said if residents and families were unable to choose a motif, the team researched their favourite colours and traditional styles of doors from their home towns.
Alexandratos said: “Some inspiration came from the [Dementia Australia] website and in addition, one of the Bethanie team members had visited a loved one in the Netherlands where their facility had done something similar.”
Bethanie Fields resident Elizabeth Bowron chose her door design due to her love of the colour blue and the open sky while Carole Barber wanted a welcoming design for her door. “I chose it because it has windows and more detail on it and the wood was different – that’s a bit antique looking,” Barber explained.
Alexandratos said the project was a reflection of the fact that dementia is a different experience for each individual. “We are hoping that with this project we can connect even more personally to every one of our residents and assist to bring back some cherished memories.
“Not only will it assist with orientation but it will also replace the clinical atmosphere on our dementia-specific wing to make it a more homely environment.”
She said the new doors have already sparked discussion and reminiscence between residents and staff.
“We believe there is a life to live, and living with dementia is a time to live.”Do you have an idea for a story?
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