A small village was created in the Netherlands specially for people with dementia

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Image by Madeleine SARS, Eindhoven

Hogeweyk is a special village in the town Weesp in the Netherlands. It is special because it has been developed distinctly as a pioneering care centre for elderly people with dementia. With 152 residents for the time being, the facility consists of doctors and specialists working twenty four-seven to provide them with the necessary care.

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Illustration by Niek Roozen, Weesp

The Hogeweyk facility was designed by Molenaar&Bol&VanDillen and was commenced in December 2009. The village comprises of 23 households that provide different kinds of lifestyles to the residents, each one of whom requires nursing facilities. The residents manage their households themselves assisted by a constant staff to help with the daily chores such as cooking and washing.

In addition to being a care facility Hogeweyk is a self sufficient village. There is a supermarket for purchasing items of daily use. It also has gardens, parks and squares for the residents to roam safely and freely. Hogeweyk assures its inhabitants of privacy and autonomy. It also provides a range of recreational facilities such as a restaurant, a bar and even a theatre.

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Image by Hans Erkelens, Flickr

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Image by KopArt, Amstelveen

 

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Image by KopArt, Amstelveen

 

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Image by KopArt, Amstelveen

 

While Hogeweyk is a fully functioning facility for the care of its residents, its staff members strive to make the experience of the residents as real and comfortable as possible. They dress in normal apparel instead of clinical clothing, and fit into the lives of the residents in such a way that they are always at ease. Households with varied living styles also have different kinds of music, interior designs, food and also table practices.

Residents in all the houses have large bedrooms all to themselves and share the rest of the house with their fellow residents. There doors are always unlocked and residents often mix with each other, go for walks or cycle around or indulge in any other social activity just like in the real world.

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Image by Anita Eldridge

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Image by Madeleine Sars, Eindhoven

Everything at Hogeweyk is taken care of keeping into consideration the nature of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. While the staff members are always truthful in their interaction with the residents and will always let them know where they are and that they are being taken care of, they do not seek to correct them whenever the residents talk about their memories or past.

Hogeweyk, with all of its personalised facilities and a staff which works round the clock ensures a pleasant experience for its residents.