"I'm confused, I'm not sure where to go, but I know my door is blue"
December 13, 2018 10:25 AM   Subscribe

"We had a traffic jam of wheelchairs and walkers because everyone was so excited to come and see how the doors were going to turn out." Trying to find their own room among identical beige doors can be confusing and stressful for care home residents with dementia. Some memory care facilities are trying a new approach: large decals that transform each featureless beige door into the distinctive front door of a real house. The decals are based on the final art school thesis of Marieke van Diepen, who worked with a social development organization to figure out how to use the door decals to help people with dementia. The Amsterdam-based company even offers custom decals based on the actual front door of a person's former home.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl (20 comments total) 62 users marked this as a favorite
That is awesome. Dementia sucks, and anything we can do to make it better is worth doing.

Personally, I'd ask for a TARDIS decal.
posted by corvikate at 10:37 AM on December 13, 2018 [17 favorites]

Genius! 10 Downing St for mine.
posted by epo at 10:42 AM on December 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

The facility where my mom spent her last year had bulletin boards by each resident's door that the family was allowed to decorate anyway they wanted--family pictures, logos of favorite sports teams, etc. But I think this is a great way to break up the institutional sameness.
posted by agatha_magatha at 10:48 AM on December 13, 2018 [5 favorites]

This is brilliant.

How effective it could be has to depend on how the dementia manifests, though, I fear. My father's brain tumors have gotten him more lost by adding false memories (of our house having a different floorplan, in dreams that he didn't realize were dreams, we think) than by removing true memories. It didn't matter that he still recognized where his bedroom door was, until we sorted out that he didn't also have *another* bedroom out the garage door.
posted by roystgnr at 11:14 AM on December 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

i love this except for the vinyl sticker part. i guess they aren't too worried about the longevity or the aging of the decals but that stuff is gross and does not age well. paintings from art students would have felt a little nicer, taken more time, led to more interaction with seniors, etc. i get a similar reaction to a lot of wonderful ideas that seem to require the usage of nasty technologies in order to become a scalable business, "why can't we stay slow and small and impractical?" that said, i'm very glad my critical voice didn't stop this from happening!!
posted by danjo at 11:15 AM on December 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

These are very cool! The True Doors gallery is awesome, too. There’s one trompe l’oeil in there that looks like a gate, through which you can see an entry courtyard. It really gives an illusion of space. I think I’d like something like that on my door, should it ever be necessary to be institutionalized.

(Though I guess it could get confusing for folks with dementia. “I thought I was going outside! Who are you?”)
posted by darkstar at 11:20 AM on December 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

I just kinda figure that when a resident leaves the room, the new occupant would get a new decal. Especially for the ones who used a photo of a door they used to live behind rather than one they picked out of the catalog.

Susan's gone from the home, and her door's gone with her.
posted by egypturnash at 11:21 AM on December 13, 2018 [9 favorites]

Wonderful idea :)
posted by carter at 11:49 AM on December 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

This is so beautiful and a wonderful idea <3
posted by Dressed to Kill at 11:53 AM on December 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

I love this so much.
posted by vespabelle at 12:57 PM on December 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

Thoughtful and beautiful.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:04 PM on December 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

I love that one man chose a door with graffiti on it. There's a door for everyone!
posted by fiercecupcake at 1:17 PM on December 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

If it ain't Dutch, it ain't much.
posted by humboldt32 at 1:37 PM on December 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

This is brilliant in it's simplicity - of COURSE this works. It's a bit like that brutally practical idea of putting a fake bus stop just outside a care home. Public transport (by bus) has always been a big thing in the Netherlands, and whenever an elderly person in one of those homes figures out that "1-2-3-4" is the code to the front door lock and leaves unexpectedly, odds are that this person will try to take the bus "home" and will stop at the first bus stop encountered...
posted by DreamerFi at 1:42 PM on December 13, 2018 [6 favorites]

I remember seeing something similar, but more in depth, with actual facades. Something like this.
posted by fings at 2:38 PM on December 13, 2018 [3 favorites]

Yesterday, I was looking at my Facebook advertising interests, and was like "Door? You think I'm interested in Door, Facebook?"

As it turns out, if Door is interesting enough, I am interested in Door.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:54 PM on December 13, 2018 [6 favorites]

At my father-in-law’s care home each door had a picture of the resident.
posted by Segundus at 3:07 PM on December 13, 2018 [3 favorites]

This is awesome. It does make me wonder which door people will remember. My grandmother lived in one house for thirty years before moving to a care facility, but once there thought she was living in a city she hadn't visited for sixty years. Would she recognize the door from her most recent house even if she thought she was living in a totally different location? Either way, having differentiation among the doors sounds like a great idea.
posted by Tentacle of Trust at 4:38 PM on December 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

At a tech company I worked for, they used this approach to make the elevator doors look like safes, as part of a campaign to raise awareness of ongoing security concerns. They were such a hit that they were left on permanently (well, until that office shut down, anyway.)
posted by davejay at 6:53 PM on December 13, 2018 [3 favorites]

Fings, that nursing home in the video you linked to looks really cool. It looks like the people who designed it care a lot about the experience of the residents.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 2:12 AM on December 14, 2018 [2 favorites]

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