Posted .February 01, 2016
Did you know there is a little town in Holland where everyone has dementia? It's no coincidence and it's not something in the water causing everyone to have dementia. It's a village created specifically for senior citizens; a safe fortress made up of apartments, grocery stores, restaurants, gardens and cafes. Caregivers live amongst the residents and wear street clothes and interact with patients as friends and neighbors, giving residents the freedom to carry on a normal life without feeling like their dementia is holding them back. They can buy things from the grocery store, get their hair done, and roam the streets in safety.
Dementia Village was created by a Dutch caregiver, who, after years of working with patients with dementia, began researching how they could create a safe place for seniors. She was looking for a place that would allow residents to lead the same quality of life they did before their diagnosis.
One of the great things about this special village is the attention to detail and specifics that makes it so helpful to residents with dementia. Each apartment is different and caters to individual lifestyles, complete with themes such as "artisan, Christian and old fashioned." Everything has been carefully thought out and set up so that residents can live a completely normal life with all of their needs provided for them. The familiarity that people with dementia crave has been carefully woven into every aspect of this special village.
The basic idea is that by treating residents as 'normal' people and not defining them by a medical diagnosis, that they can live a rich and fulfilling life. It also means they can spend the rest of their lives living as happy, healthy and productive citizens. And that is really all anyone wants as they age, right?