Nashwaak Villa in New Brunswick, Canada, recently completed a true doors transformation, where residents’ chose their true doors with help from family, staff and local students.
Person-centered care was at the heart of their approach every step of the process, and as such it’s been a lovely project to support and the results are heartwarming.
Daphne Noonan, Executive Director at Nashwaak Villa, understood straight away that the process of finding the “right” doors has value in and of itself, as everyone involved has the opportunity to better learn about residents histories and preferences.
It’s the first time with any project in twelve countries that students have been involved in helping to find the True Doors with residents. Nashwaak Villa runs an intergenerational program where students from the local school take part in activities, spending time with the residents throughout the year.
Just before the summer break, residents’ families received an introductory leaflet, explaining what Nashwaak sought to gain from the project and how they could help. Pam Spilman, from the Nashwaak nursing team, then took a day to call the families, leaving messages, ensuring that everyone was aware of the project.
During the five-week summer camp older students began going through the shortlist of options families had put other, using an iPad to also browse the main true doors collection.
The final choices ranged from doors from the local area, doors from previous homes, personalised doors and lots from the main true door collection. And each choice made by a resident has its own story. A new group of students, who’ve joined Nashwaak’s autumn program, are now collating and writing up the stories behind the doors, which we are very much looking forward to reading.
There’s been a steady flow of feedback since the true doors went up. The results have been energising for all involved.
I have noticed a lot of residents were very pleased and enthusiastic to see all the different door choices. A lot of residents enjoy having the opportunity to show off the doors they or their family has chosen. They make the halls have more of a home feel.
Makes our hallways warm and welcoming. Good conversation piece. Many people come in to see the doors. They give more social interaction for our residents. Definitely, improve quality of life.
Brightens the hallways and gives a more home-like feeling. Very pleased with the result.
The doors look great. Love the idea. Feels more like home.
It is priceless hearing the residents talk about their doors, the memories they talk about...
The doors look fabulous and make it look more homely. Love them and this was a great idea.
I find them very warming to the building - more homely feeling. The residents like to look at each others' doors and also share them with family and friends. As they remind them of their past they can relate to them personally. Some do also remind me of my childhood. I really enjoy seeing them every day.
We had fun interactions while deciding on the right door. Residents find their rooms more easily and memories are awakened. Makes the hallways seem bigger with the (true) doors. I love this. I have no complaints at all.
I have never seen these doors before, but they are beautiful. They look so real!
The doors are so nice! Each one is so individual to the residents' lives and experiences. Each time we walk past them we talk about them. Certainly does bring a homely feeling.
Residents and family members have great social interactions talking about each other's doors. They give our home a more personal and homely feel. It doesn't feel like our residents are in a healthcare facility. I love all the new doors!
Residents enjoy the new doors. It’s always a conversation starter and can act as a distraction when needed. Many residents find it easier to find rooms and family seem to enjoy them.
A resident told me a story about how her door reminded her of the times her husband went fishing in the past on the Nashwaak River. She used to look out of the car window while her husband was fishing and this is the image she imagines when she looks at the door. I have noticed a huge positive effect with the true doors.
I notice that there's now a more homely feeling and more social interaction at Nashwaak Villa.
Definitely makes the room feel more “hers” and gives her a reminder of all the people she has created.
Mom put a lot of thought into each picture on the door. It truly tells her life story. She is so proud to show it to everyone that stops by.