True Doors are based on photographs of actual doors in the Netherlands. The door numbers are whitened out for privacy. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

Customized doors to help people with dementia in Revelstoke

Mount Cartier Court wants to make it easier for people to find their own rooms

Sometimes doors can make all the difference.

People living at Revelstoke’s Mount Cartier Court have all recently acquired their own personalized doors.

“How do we expect someone to find their own door if they all look the same?” asks Kelly Pettus, manager of long term care services at Mount Cartier Court.

Mount Cartier Court provides long term care for 44 individuals with complex health needs, such a dementia. More than 66,000 people struggle with dementia in B.C.

READ MORE: No one in Revelstoke should face dementia alone

Dementia is an overall term that describes symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills that can reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Even simple ones, like remembering where you live.

“It can be difficult for someone with dementia to remember where they live if all the doors look the same,” says Pettus.

In the last couple weeks, Mount Cartier Court have installed True Doors, which are made-to-measure vinyl decals. The decals add colour, warmth, and style to each other-wise plain brown doors.

Pettus says they wanted to make Mount Cartier Court more personalized for each person who calls it home. According to True Door’s website, the doors aim to transform impersonal nursing home corridors and make it easier for people to find their own rooms and less likely that others will walk into the wrong room. The company even claims the doors can trigger memories and stimulate conversations.

The company is based in the Netherlands and each design is based on an actual door.

“Someone in the Netherlands actually has this door. I think that is so cool,” says Dzidra Gallicano, an individual living at Mount Cartier Court.

There are more than 400 different designs to chose from and each one at Mount Cartier Court is different. The project cost $6,500 and was funded by Revelstoke Hospital Auxiliary Society.

Joyce Crosby says her door looks a lot nicer now. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

“I just love my door and that I got to choose my own,” says Joyce Crosby, another individual living at Mount Cartier Court.

So far, Pettus says the doors are working. Recently, one person in care with dementia couldn’t find her door. But, she did know one thing. It was blue. She remembered.

“It’s a super simple thing to do, but can make a big difference,” says Pettus.

READ MORE: Number of residents in recreation therapy at Mt. Cartier Court double the provincial average

Pettus says she’s been getting numerous emails from across the province from other care facilities also wanting True Doors.

“Everyone is super keen.”

The fondness of the classy doors goes beyond even humans.

“Even Sadie, the house cat loves the doors,” says Pettus.

Pettus says the project wouldn’t have been possible without the following volunteers:

Rick and Janet Hodgson

Wayne and Nancy Martin

Yvonne Steadman

Leslie Davidson

Sue Dulley

Judy

Susan Black

Cathy East

Vivian Mitchell

Donna and Brian Lecompte

Jill Holloway

Annie Woodhurst

Maria-Lynn and Mark Johnson

Sarah Darval

Miranda Murphy

Zophie Humphreys

Cindy Hall

Susan Black

Sara Jeffreys

Marc Pardis

Recreation Department

Anne Keller

Jennifer Cadden

Kelsey Barrett

Pettus says she apologies if she missed the name of any volunteers who helped with this project.


 

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The doors come in multiple designs. Some are old fashion, others are brilliant blue, stained glass or simple. The design is up to the occupant. The door numbers are whitened out for privacy. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

Mount Cartier Court has 44 private rooms over three distinct wings called “cottages.” (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

The doors come in multiple designs. Some are old fashion, others are brilliant blue, stained glass or simple. The design is up to the occupant. This one is a screen door. The door number is whitened out for privacy. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

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