This year Kings Way LifeCare Alliance has introduced True Doors to both its nursing homes in New Brunswick, Canada. We spoke with Megan O'Hara, Community Development Coordinator. Megan has been responsible for ensuring the projects run smoothly. She explained their staged approach, the selection process and the sorts of reactions there have been.
How did you select who receive True Doors?
"To date we've installed True Doors in three rounds. Initially we selected residents via a draw, and this round ended up including residents whose families may not be active in their daily life, which has worked out well. We then opened up for families to purchase. We had a number of people purchase them for their mom's for mother's day. The families were excited because it can be hard to purchase something for someone living in care. And this gift will keep giving long after the individual has passed on. Then staff members in both homes purchased a few with their own money for specific residents in their neighbourhoods. We use consistent staffing, which means the same staff care for the same people everyday so they can get very close."
How did you select each True Door?
"We've taken slightly different approaches each time. For example for the first group, we asked them their favorite color and then showed them doors from the collection and they chose their favorite. When they weren't able to we chose one we thought they would like. While with the second group, we printed off a bunch of examples and let the family choose. Some asked their mom's which they liked best."
What has the reaction been?
"Residents really like them. For those who are able, it gives them something to talk about with staff and other residents and they go on about how beautiful they are, especially when they first go up. It warms up our hallways which are quite long and institutional."
Carolyne Taplin is based in Bendigo, Victoria. She is responsible for supporting care facilities with their True Doors projects. Along side helping True Doors, Carolyne is a facilitator for Dementia Australia, focusing on person-centred care, and an Eden Alternative Associate.