Dutch Village Offers Alternative Reality To Residents With Dementia

A long-term residential facility in The Netherlands is offering its residents with dementia an alternative reality. Director of Innovation and co-founder Yvonne van Amerongen offers a tour of the “Hogeweyk” facility in a video posted by BBC yesterday.

The village, which is located near Amsterdam in The Netherlands, boasts a new concept in long-term care for those suffering with dementia. Hogeweyk offers its residents an entire alternative reality, as opposed to the traditional hospital setting found in many facilities worldwide.

According to their website, there are 152 residents currently living in the village-like community. There are 23 homes and various community buildings built around a central courtyard. The doors to each home face into the courtyard, encouraging the residents to interact with each other and to get frequent exercise and fresh air. Amerongen states in the video that studies have shown that these factors help patients suffering from dementia lead more healthy and meaningful lives.

In addition to the homes and courtyard, the village offers a beauty salon, a theater, a grocery store, and a community center with a room that can be rented for banquets and parties.

The homes each have a theme that is meant to make the residents feel more at home. The residents’ previous lifestyles are taken into account when deciding which home would make them feel more comfortable. There are seven different lifestyles/themes to choose from; Indian, cultural, urban, crafts, Christian, traditional, and lavish. Each home follows the theme through meals, activities, and decor.

Hogeweyk has a long waiting list, but a majority of the cost to residents is covered by The Dutch public health insurance.