doors for older adults with dementia seeking elopement

Aged Care and Dementia Murals

Aged Care and Dementia Murals

>The brief:  Vanessa Malady, the head nurse at Coolibah Aged Care contacted us full of excitement after reading the ABC’s editorial on us.  She was keen to stop dementia exit seekers at two exit door points. First, Vanessa and her manager held a Zoom meeting with Sharron to find that Sharron Tancred fully understands exit seeking behaviours…. And then some!

>>Our strategy:  Coolibah had a solid door and a glass door. Dementia exit seekers were pounding on both because the glass door clearly showed a way out while the solid door didn’t. Why did dementia exit seekers beat on both? Because the doors, their handles, shadows and forms said, exit.

Therefore, in keeping with Coolibah’s coastal location and country demographic, we custom designed two murals to exactly fit each doors’ architecture. This required measurements using our diagrammatical schematics emailed to Vanessa. For the glass door, we used our overlaminate film for glass door wraps to use the transparency and allow light in.

We transformed the black aluminium glass door frame into a french door with a view to a charming wrought-iron verandah and beach scene!  This said to older adults with dementia seeking elopement that the verandah was closed and high above the beach – no escape here!

The solid door became a pet-looking-out-a-window device to show residents that this was indeed a window!  However, the signwriter cut off our dogs’ feet -never do that because it can lessen the illusion.  Lastly, we printed our door wraps and delivered them to Coolibah Aged Care in Perth for easy installation.

>>The outcome: Well, Coolibah Aged Care is seeking funding for lots more doors!  Kurt, Coolibah’s Clinical Care Manager, said he was impressed with the interest residents had taken in the scenes and equally impressed that the murals have deterred residents from trying to exit through the doors. They need help, and so do their residents, please.  If you can help, here is their PDF Promo.


Story of Cooinda House Demengtia Murals installation by Sharron Tancred from Tailored Artworks
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