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I Have Alzheimer’s or Another Dementia
Dementia Village...there really is one!
What I heard about this village from someone who visited there, is that the average time the residents spend bedridden before death is 2 weeks. And none are given anti-psychotics. It is the SAME price as any other nursing home in the Netherlands.
CNN's World's Untold Stories: Dementia Village
Hogewey, is a gated model village in Weesp, in Netherlands. It has been designed specifically as a pioneering care facility for elderly people with dementia. The benefit of using all-day reminiscence therapy at Hogewey, compared to traditional nursing homes, is that the residents with dementia are more active and require less medication. The setting has been compared to that depicted in the film The Truman Show. Carers, doctors and nurses work around the clock to provide the 152 residents the necessary 24-hour care.
The Hogewey complex is set out like a village with a town square, supermarket, hairdressing salon, theatre, pub, café-restaurant—as well as the twenty-three houses themselves.
The doctors, nurses and carers aim to make the experience as real as possible to the residents. Residents do the necessary shopping at the supermarket and assist with preparing and cooking as they would at home. The carers wear normal daytime clothing rather than clinical clothing, and fit into a role that the dementia sufferers are likely to be comfortable with; in the working class households the carers are seen to be neighbours or carers, while in the aristocratic/upper class setting, the nurses act akin to servants. The different living styles have different types of music playing, significantly varied interior design, food and methods of table setting. Residents within each house have their own large bedroom and then meet with other residents to share the living room, kitchen and dining room. There are no locks on the doors and residents are free to walk or cycle around within the village, including choosing to visit the supermarket or cafe.
The village employs 250 members of staff. In order to maintain the "fake reality" (hyperreality) that those living at Hogewey are comfortable with, the staff are instructed not to correct the residents as the residents are talking about memories, background and history. At the same time, the staff will not deceive the patients if directly asked, truthfully stating that the residents are in a place where they can receive required care for their condition. Because of the nature of Alzheimer's disease and dementia, the sufferers remember the distant past, rather than the present, so even truthful answers given by the staff will be forgotten quickly.
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