A new way to keep residents safe


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The first “bookshelf door” went so well at my dementia care community that I bought another one! This was the first one I ordered off of Amazon (see link here) so I was a little worried that it wouldn’t be as good as the one that local students made for us.

I am happy to say that it looks great, particularly for a window sticker that was super easy to install and only costed about $40, including shipping.

I installed this one yesterday and it worked immediately. One of my residents, Teresa, is “notorious” for going through the exit doors. I watched her walk up to it, look at it, and turn back around a number of times. 

My community is considered “secure” but not “locked.” In many places, there is a distinction between locked and secured communities when it comes to state regulations and rules. In my community, the doors leading to Assisted Living are not locked, so we need to use other options to deter residents from walking through them.

Because we cannot actually put something in front of the door (this would be considered a violation of fire code) these door stickers work wonders. Many of my residents perceive them as an actual bookshelf, or at least as something that is not a door.

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Rachael Wonderlin is an internationally-recognized dementia care expert and consultant. She has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of two published books with Johns Hopkins University Press. Rachael owns Dementia By Day, a dementia care consulting and education company.

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