Memory care facilities often struggle to find a way to keep patients with dementia from eloping – leaving the facility unsupervised. Paul Goldense of Goldense Building Products just asked me about this application, and then I found this photo sent by Ken Grayling of ISE Ltd:
For those of us concerned with egress requirements, disguising the egress side of a door is a questionable method of preventing elopement, since egress doors must be readily distinguishable. As of the 2009 editions, both the International Building Code and NFPA 101 – The Life Safety Code include provisions for locking doors on these health care units (and others) using fail safe locks. There are several criteria that must be met (outlined in this article) in order for fail safe locks to be used. Here’s another blog post that I wrote about this issue.
As I researched the use of disguised doors in memory care units, I found that this is not an uncommon practice. Here are links to some of the information I found:
Healthcare Interpretations Task Force (includes the examples below on page 16)
And some other examples of disguised doors (click the image to go to the image location site):