When a loved one is suffering from Alzheimer's disease or severe dementia, it's hard to find a place that can give them adequate care. Alzheimer's patients have specific, intense needs - such as 24-hour supervision - but it's hard to provide that care, whether it's in a nursing home or with an in-house caretaker. Hogewey, a facility in Weesp, the Netherlands, hopes to tackle this very obstacle with their creation of an imitation town known as "Dementia Village."
Hogewey's facility recreates a small town for residents to roam freely.
Caretakers give them 24-hour supervision by acting as store owners, restaurant workers, salon stylists, and more in mock-up businesses around town. With the homes lining the property of the village, residents stay contained on the premises and are watched constantly, while still being given the freedom to go about with their daily lives.
The village is a great opportunity for those with severe dementia and in need of constant supervision, because it allows patients to feel comfortable and normal, while they deal with declining memory. Patients get the care and supervision needed that they might not be able to get at home with their family, especially if their loved ones do not have the means to provide supervision 24/7. In addition, it is more affordable than in-home care, and costs about as much as living in a more traditional nursing home.
While the imitation village might not be a real town, it does provide the sense of a real society for its residents and has vastly improved their happiness and health. Patients are encouraged to participate in arts and crafts, watch movies, visit other residents, or attend religious services in the village, which tries to offer many activities to suit every person's interests. And with the encouragement and lifestyle comes a better opportunity to live peacefully, even as they loose their memories. Overall, the success of this village is gathering attention, and can cause a major tipping point in how healthcare for dementia patients is addressed around the world.
If someone you love suffers from this debilitating disease, or if you are seeking caregivers such as a nurse, home health aide, or elder care professional, please contact us.
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