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A Special Village for Special People with Dementia

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Leyla Güvenç
Leyla Güvenç
08/09/2016
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Government of Holland and organizations came together and constituted the Hogeweyk Village in 2009 designed by the architects Molenaar & Bol & Van Dillen.

Consisting of 23 houses, theatre, supermarket, care units and restaurant, the special village has special inhabitants and accepts only people with Dementia and Alzheimer Disease, certainly not to forget the care takers and nurses who by the way wear daily clothes rather than uniforms and are accepted as friends and / or neighbors.

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Dementia is a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. These changes are often small to start with, but for someone with dementia they have become severe enough to affect daily life. A person with dementia may also experience changes in their mood or behavior and unfortunately since the year 2000 the number of patients with dementia raised up 60%.

We may be unprepared for Dementia but the Hogeweyk Village in Weesp Town of Holland is surely a brilliant example for the rest of the World how carefully care can be taken.

 

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The creators of the village want the people with Dementia to have a normal life and not to sacrifice from the quality of their routines.

In fact, first one can feel pity about the patients living in the fake village, going to fake supermarkets, having dinner with their nurses in restaurants and thinking of them as their neighbors. However, with the statistics taken, as CNN reports, residents at Hogeweyk require fewer medications, eat better, live longer, and appear more joyful than those in standard elderly-care facilities.

 

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There are 6 to 8 people living in each house (care takers included) and cameras monitor the safety of each person 24 hours 7 day. The village has only one entrance and exit where relatives of the patients are free to come whenever they want to visit their beloved ones.

 

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With only 152 inhabitants, the 10 football stadium big village do not only perform a “Truman Show” style of life for the people who have Dementia but also present a strong feeling of safety and self-sufficiency which is very important in each stage for the patient.

 

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Not to forget that how close and qualified a care is given by the families themselves, being in a care unit or at home makes them surely feel uncomfortable and limited.

Thanks to everyone for this brilliant solution!

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http://hogeweyk.dementiavillage.com/en/kenniscentrum/

Source: theatlantic.com, CNN, gizmodo, abcnews

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