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Montreal aged care center uses optical illusions to help keep dementia residents safe

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In Montreal, Canada an Aged Care center has created an innovative way to keep their residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia safe.

At a glance, the walls may look like cupboards, shelving or even a store but these are optical illusions painted onto the walls and they deter the people in care from trying to run away.

Angela Novembre, a department head at the CHSLD Dante in the Rosemont–​La Petite-Patrie borough, said that happens all too often.

“Some of the nursing homes offer a unit that is designated for persons living with Alzheimer’s and dementia,” she explained. “They want to leave the unit. They want to go look for their family. They want to go look for their children. They want to look for their pets. So they are always trying to leave.”

The hidden doors help distract patients who would otherwise get upset upon realizing that they can’t leave

A person living with Alzheimer’s and dementia can become very agitated if they try to open a door that is locked, they begin to feel like they’re trapped and this can cause allot of anxiety. So by simply hiding the door behind the murals painted on over the door that moment of anxiety can be avoided.

More aged care centers around the world are implementing this method, while some locations have had them for nearly a decade. Similar ones are currently used at care centres in Gatineau, Magog and Coaticook.

Behind this yellow cabinet is actually an elevator

The care home is designed with an “anti-runaway system,” Each of the residents living in there wear a magnetic bracelet that gives them access to certain areas.

The optical illusions painted on the walls hide the doors that lead to areas that are off limits to the seniors in care that require supervision.

The real concern isn’t that patients will actually walk off, says Angela. It’s about avoiding the upsetting moment when they realize they can’t leave.

This door is painted to look like an old general store, complete with products

The care home is designed with an “anti-runaway system,” Each of the residents living in there wear a magnetic bracelet that gives them access to certain areas.

The optical illusions painted on the walls hide the doors that lead to areas that are off limits to the seniors in care that require supervision.

The real concern isn’t that patients will actually walk off, says Angela. It’s about avoiding the upsetting moment when they realize they can’t leave.

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