Dementia-friendly designs are important in residential care homes but an aspect that remains neglected is the potential role of door designs in promoting wayfinding.
A pilot project in NSW, Australia, tested the effects of unique room door designs for a small group of individuals living with dementia in a residential care home. Internal doors were transformed using a giant adhesive poster created by a commercial graphic designer. The poster replicated the look of traditional front doors, including a range of bright bold colours and architectural features, such as brass doorknockers, letterboxes and door guards.
The Revised Algase Wandering Scale (RAWS) was used to identify the effects of introducing the doors on persistent walking, eloping behaviours and spatial disorientation. A total of nine individuals living with dementia participated in the project. The post-intervention data demonstrated that there was a reduction in persistent walking, eloping behaviours and spatial disorientation. In addition, ongoing anecdotal evidence found that individuals continued to seek out others to showcase their unique door.
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