People with dementia who live in care homes are happier and more relaxed if the door to their room resembles a door from their past, according to preliminary research from the Trimbos Institute.
By sticking a photograph of a personalised door from a previous home on top of the institutional door, patients are reminded of times when they were happy, the institute says.
‘A front door is often a symbol for a time in someone’s life or a place where they lived with pleasure,’ the institute says in a statement. ‘When a person moves to a care home, they can “take” a door from their past with them.’
The research shows the use of such doors can also stimulate memories, which are an important part of treating dementia.
The doors are being used at the D’n Aok care home in Veenendaal, where elderly people with dementia and psychiatric problems are looked after. In total, 15 of the 18 patients were given a stick-on door.
The company which came up with the idea and makes of the stick-on doors, True Doors, says they also allow patients to find their rooms more easily, reducing their reliance on staff.