True Doors welcome elders home

“The front door continues to appeal to our sense of arrival. Call it the ceremony of coming home,” writes Akiko Busch in his book Geography of Home: Writings on Where We Live.

Isn’t it so true – how a simple door can give us that sense of arrival and peace and make us feel at home. That sense of arriving home rests your soul and eases your mind. Walking through your front door makes you feel safe; it brings you comfort and a sense of relief. It’s where you can be you, and the outside world doesn’t matter so much.

Now imagine that little by little, you are beginning to forget things. Imagine that sometimes during the day you are confused or lost, things look unfamiliar yet the same. You are not sure where to go. Through the unfamiliar, you see your door, and it gives you a flicker of a memory. You know it’s your door, the one to your home, your place of comfort, where you belong. That door speaks to you and calls to your senses that yes, you are in the right place. You are where you belong.

This is exactly what True Doors provide to the elders living on Charity Court, Nazareth Home’s Memory Care neighborhood. The decals placed over the residents’ doors look like a door from their past home or another door of the elder’s choosing. It creates a warm and familiar environment, bringing elders’ identities to the forefront while creating an atmosphere that feels more like home.

The decals help trigger memories and stimulate conversation. It gives elders a sense of pride and makes their home on Charity Court feel less institutionalized and more home-like. The doors also enable elders to remember how to “get home” to their rooms and avoid becoming disoriented.

True Doors is at the center of our person-centered care. Elders living on Charity Court have the choice of 500 designs, or they can submit a photo of a real door for a custom decal. Their choice in a door tells us a little bit about the elder’s life, or a little about their likes and dislikes, allowing us to get to know them better.

Home means something different to each of us, and our idea of home shapes our place in this world. And it all begins at the front door. The True Door decals welcome our elders home and bring a smile to everyone’s face.