Thursday, July 26, 2018

A new concept in residential living for those suffering with dementia

Dementia village, a new concept in residential living for patients with dementia, started in 2009 in Norway. The Hogeweyk (from the Hogewey nursing home) is a specially designed, self-contained,  residential neighborhood with 23 homes where 152 elderly people with dementia live in maximum privacy and independence in a lifestyle similar to that with which they are familiar. There are 7 lifestyles available: city, Goois, domestic, Christian, traditional, Indian, and cultural.

With the assistance of staff, the residents run their own households to the best of their abilities. In the neighborhood are streets, squares, courtyards and a park where the residents can walk safely in freedom. The neighborhood has various facilities including a restaurant, cafĂ©, supermarket, and a theater. Interacting in this type of environment appears to trigger memories in the patients and helps slow the progress of dementia.

The dementia village concept is spreading around the world. The first village in the United States, Town Square, a new adult daycare facility using this concept, is opening in San Diego, California. The facility represents a "town" from the years 1953-1961. It encompasses 8,500 square feet with 24 buildings and 12 storefronts — including a diner, post office, barbershop, pet store, library, museum, and a movie theater. Dementia patients will be able to spend the day exploring the facility independently, in small groups or with their families. The facility offers a secure environment, under the watchful eye of dementia care professionals operating the storefronts and other businesses and interacting with the patients throughout the day.