'Dementiaville' exemplifies what's possible in long-term care
Asking 'what if?' a powerful tool for long-term care providersSeptember 19, 2012
Imagine living your senior years in a specially-designed community that takes you back to your past, a place where you’re familiar with your surroundings; a place where people can relate to one another.
Welcome to Hogewey — also known as “Dementiaville” — in the Dutch town of Weesp. A gated community of 23 homes with 152 residents, Hogewey has the distinction of being the world’s only community designed specifically for people living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia.
Hogewey’s beginnings were humble. Originally a regular long-term care home, Hogewey’s founders asked themselves in 1993 if this was a home where they would want themselves or their parents to live their senior years.
The answer was a collective “no.”
Thus began the process of creating perhaps the most unique long-term care environment for people with dementia. The new Hogewey opened in December 2009.
The group then decided that people needed to live alongside others who were like them, had similar interests and backgrounds. So, they decided the new project they were embarking on, to change the paradigm of long-term care, should appeal to seven segments of society: the upper class, working class, people who enjoy cultural activities, people who lived their lives in cities, people who value faith, homemakers, and people who came to the Netherlands from Indonesia, a former Dutch colony.
Those living in the community designed for wealthy residents are told their caregivers are servants, while those living in the working-class community are told their caregivers are extended family members.
Residents who lived their lives in urban settings live in homes mimicking contemporary Dutch urban life, while people living in the Indonesian residence receive the food and other customs from their homeland.
While segregation is practised within the residences, integration is encouraged in daily life outside the homes. As with any society, you will find Hogewey residents of all walks of life rubbing shoulders with one another in the common outdoor areas, which include town squares and tree-lined streets with shops, a supermarket, a pub, a restaurant and a theatre.
And what’s the result of providing long-term care in this manner to people living with dementia? According to those working at Hogewey, the segregated homes and integrated outdoor activities create an atmosphere where residents are calm, happy and fulfilled — the desired objective.
Understandably, not every long-term care home can be like Hogewey, however, everyone connected to a long-term care home can ask themselves what type of home they would want to live in and create and follow through with steps to actualize their visions.
If you have a vision for long-term care you would like to share with the OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.
If you have feedback on this story, please call the newsroom at 800-294-0051, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.
Back to News
There are currently no related stories.
View Recent Stories
View Archived Stories