True Doors

The story behind the door

Mercy Health Bethlehem Home for the Aged

A True Doors transformation in (Bendigo) Victoria, Australia.

True Doors decals improve quality of life for seniors and people with special needs living in care facilities.

At the beginning of 2017 we began working with Carolyne Taplin, who was previously a facilitator for Alzheimer’s Australia and is an avid photographer. Carolyne is based in Bendigo, Victoria.

Together we were lucky to find an enthusiastic team at Mercy Health Bendigo who were happy to be the first True Doors project in Australia. With help from family and staff, Carolyne identified the doors that most resonated as home for fifteen of the residents.

During the course of the project we began to add Australian doors to the collection. And expect this range will continue to grow in the coming months.

The True Doors make Mercy Health more homely, they make a lot of difference - residents recognize doors and makes for good talking points.
- Christine and Rod | Daughter and Husband of resident at Mercy Health in Victoria, Australia
The story behind the door - Christine and Rod
More homely, make a big difference. Good for talking about.
- Chris Varley | Son of resident at Mercy Health in Victoria, Australia
The story behind the door - Chris Varley
Green is a colour that has always been important to me, it's so peaceful. The copper door knocker and letter box remind me of my sons who always make things for me.
- Edna Rutter | Resident at Mercy Health in Victoria, Australia Chosen because: The colour and Edna's sons
They've helped create a more individualized environment that is warmer. The Elders are recognizing some features about their doors and being drawn to it.- this is improving way-finding. They look great, when family or staff first walk in it's like WOW- and they are all blown away because of how beautiful and realistic they are. It changes the feel of the whole area. Now I have to find the time to take people on walk-thru tours!!!
- Kylie Paxton | Manager Lifestyle and Leisure at Mercy Health in Victoria, Australia
The story behind the door - Kylie Paxton
Maggie has just moved into Bethlehem and the door was already up. Ironically - previously Maggie's door was purple and the colour is very similar. It's too early to tell whether mum will recognize this door but aesthetically mum feels it is comforting and homely. I think that visually it provides a wonderful sensory environment a feeling of home and a warm personal touch. The doors invite conversation and a person-centred approach with the doors unique to the individual. I would love to go through the process to see mum's reactions to other doors and would be interested to see if she would continue to choose a certain door or whether this would change on a day to day basis. I love the concept of bringing a more homely environment into Residential Care that integrates the lives of each individual and the era to which their memory resonates.
- Samantha Parke | Daughter of resident at Mercy Health in Victoria, Australia Chosen because: Looks like previous door
I think it's lovely and I don't think I'll see another one like it for a while!
- Maggie | Resident at Mercy Health in Victoria, Australia Chosen because: Looks like previous door
The story behind the door - Maggie
I feel the doors take the clinical look and feel away from the facility, it certainly creates a more homely aspect. I thoroughly enjoy walking past them.
- Susan Fitzpatrick | Daughter of resident at Mercy Health in Victoria, Australia
The story behind the door - Susan Fitzpatrick
I am very impressed, it's wonderful to come along and see the effect on everybody. I feel more peaceful seeing the doors instead of institutional regular doors.
- Helen Banks | Daughter of resident at Mercy Health in Victoria, Australia
The story behind the door - Helen Banks
A more homely feeling with True Doors.
- Alan McDonald | Husband of resident at Mercy Health in Victoria, Australia
The story behind the door - Alan McDonald
Created a lovely feeling in the wing. Lots to look at and talk about - Joan's door is so pretty, the curtains are lace and remind us of our childhood
- Nell Campbell | Sister of resident at Mercy Health in Victoria, Australia Chosen because: Reminds of childhood
The story behind the door - Nell Campbell
..it adds a more homey feeling to match the walls of the lounge and outer garden areas. (painted murals in the interior and garden
- Lorraine Underwood | Daughter of resident at Mercy Health in Victoria, Australia
The story behind the door - Lorraine Underwood
I think they are very homely. I am finding that I have taken an interest in front doors when out walking I can't help compare.
- Helen Hayes | Daughter of resident at Mercy Health in Victoria, Australia
Mum can find her door but I'm not sure she recognizes it as my door - they add more interest
- Lachie Koch | Son of resident at Mercy Health in Victoria, Australia Chosen because: To remind of son
The story behind the door - Lachie Koch
I've noticed through speaking with the residents that their is a sense of pride in their door and thier room now. "This is my door". " This is my room" "Isn't it lovely.' "Aren't I lucky".
- Penny West | Member of staff at Mercy Health in Victoria, Australia
I have noticed how pleasurable and refreshing and homely feeling the True Doors have made residents and staff experience I personally felt very thrilled and my breath taken away - a very postivie experience.
- Lyn Walhe | Member of staff at Mercy Health in Victoria, Australia
Very creative. Residents and staff members all love the doors. Being a staff member I found residents found thier rooms easily and everyone finds the doors are a talking point.
- Susannah Kelly | Member of staff at Mercy Health in Victoria, Australia
Residents seem to be searching for their own door, family and staff are also excited over their doors, talking about happy memories they have had. Staff see other residents admiring all the doors.
- Lorraine Mills | Member of staff at Mercy Health in Victoria, Australia
The story behind the door - Lorraine Mills
Fantastic!
- Clarissa Garland | Member of staff at Mercy Health in Victoria, Australia
The story behind the door - Clarissa Garland
I believe it gives both residents and their families a more warm and welcoming environment to come into and the True Doors give the residents comfort in knowing they are at home and the door is unique to them, rather than the generic facility door. Overall I think it is a wonderful addition.
- Simran Sandhu | Member of staff at Mercy Health in Victoria, Australia
To add to the feeling of "home", the staff and residents as well as families have all reacted very positively.
- Christine Curnow | Member of staff at Mercy Health in Victoria, Australia
Each time I pass by the door with cafe blinds I "smell the scones" this leads to greater bonding with the resident who has the room and the less sterile feeling with a door also encourages a sense of individuality and self for the residents with pride shown for their "home".
- Natasha Yarrick | Member of staff at Mercy Health in Victoria, Australia
Everybody who walks past tells me it's beautiful-I would say it is colossal
- Nancy Young | Resident at Mercy Health in Victoria, Australia
The story behind the door - Nancy Young
The doors are creating opportunities to talk with other families about their doors and the stories behind the doors. the doors are all so beautiful - it's magic- you've done a wonderful job!
- Margaret Wilson | Wife of resident at Mercy Health in Victoria, Australia
The story behind the door - Margaret Wilson
They are colourful and alive , creative and engaging. The True Door helps mum identify her room. It feels more homely and adds a lot more interest- takes away the "sanitation" of aged care. Everyone I show who sees the doors thinks they are marvelous.
- Rose Spinks | Daughter of resident at Mercy Health in Victoria, Australia
The story behind the door - Rose Spinks

As featured on ABC News, CBC News, and others

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A project by the Lifelong Inspiration team
A project by the Lifelong Inspiration team