The Magic Doors project was introduced to Orchard House Care Home in September 2016.

As part of the development of the Magic Doors concept, we wanted to encourage the residents to use more poetry, building on research relating to its value for people living with dementia. We encouraged staff to use poems to read to residents when they had just two minutes to spare. A poetry pot was placed on each floor and staff and family visitors have been using them, with even family members adding new poems to the pot.

We also used music for the first time as part of the project and within each Magic Doors session. By using the music we could engage with those with progressed dementia and it helped stimulate memories and conversation.

This is the work produced by the residents and have been installed within the home to be enjoyed and shared.

Maria, Activities coordinator from Orchard House said:

“I have had the most amazing feedback from our residents, family members and staff. The residents said that it was enjoyable and very interesting. One resident has since started writing again after a very long time, she had become uninterested and felt that her writing wasn’t important anymore but since Ann and Nick’s visit she has been re-born it has given back her interest in poetry, so a massive pat on the back for that!

The sessions have touched parts of the residents which have been locked away for a long time and helping them bring back memories for them to cherish has been wonderful. We have all taken parts of this experience and are continuing to use with our residents on a daily basis. We have implemented a poem box for all three of our units where residents, staff and visitors can read either together or alone. We also have many volunteers now who are sending in their poems for us to print for our boxes, the interest in unbelievable.

We would like to say thank you for your invaluable input.”