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A new way of caring for the vulnerable old

  • Sat, 13 Jan 2018 06:42

Comfort for the afflicted

ANJA, who is in her 80s, says she has lived here for one hour. In fact, it has been almost a year. Like all of her neighbours, she has severe dementia. But if she is feeling particularly perky, she can buy lagers at the local supermarket, get coiffed at the hair salon and play bingo as night falls. She can dip her feet into the local fountain, or even cycle into it. She lives in Hogeweyk, thought to be the world’s first “dementia village”, near Amsterdam.

Dementia villages are gated communities designed for people who suffer from dementia, a term used to describe a set of symptoms (such as memory loss and confusion) that are caused by a variety of brain diseases. Hogeweyk’s 150 residents live in six-room houses, each designed around one of four “lifestyles”. These are selected for patients after tests and interviews alongside their families. Anja (not her real name) and her housemates live in a “traditional” home. They eat starchy...Continue reading Europe

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