Door decoration program brings residents' stories, rooms to life

Share this content:
The door decoration program was featured this week by CBC Canada.
The door decoration program was featured this week by CBC Canada.

Residents of a Canadian nursing home are getting the chance to spruce up their rooms with large custom door decals depicting everything from their favorite landscape to the door of their church.

The project was kicked off by Nashwaak Villa employee Pamela Spilman, who first spotted the decals on Facebook being used in Dutch nursing homes. Spilman told CBC Canada she thought the project could be duplicated at the Stanley, New Brunswick, facility in order to give residents a little slice of their old lives.

Residents can pick decals from a catalog or provide their own photos, from which decals can be made. So far, residents at Nashwaak Villa have decked out their doors to look like stained glass, portals to outdoors landscape shots and even the actual door of the church where one resident's daughter got married. Another employs a photo of a man fly fishing.

The decorations have helped residents with dementia find their rooms easier, and spurred them to tell staff members the stories behind their door.

"One of the first things it stimulated was reminiscing and stories of doors from the residents past,”  said Executive Director Daphne Noonan. “It's just really changed the whole feel of the environment of our home when you walk through and you see that every door looks different … it looks like a real neighborhood. That was my biggest surprise, just how it changes the feel of our home."