A home for dementia sufferers

A quick note, because I was so impressed by this and wanted to help spread the word! The Guardian has an article about a purpose-built village for those with advanced Alzheimer's. Here's what it says about it: "A compact, self-contained model village on a four-acre site on the outskirts of town, half of it is open space: wide boulevards [but no cars!], cosy side-streets, squares, sheltered courtyards, well-tended gardens with ponds, reeds and a profusion of wild flowers. The rest is neat, two-storey, brick-built houses, as well as a cafe, restaurant, theatre, minimarket and hairdressing salon."

The 152 residents, all classified as suffering from severe dementia, are cared for by around 250 full- and part-time staff, plus local volunteers. "They live, six or seven to a house, plus one or two carers, in 23 different homes. Residents have their own spacious bedroom, but share the kitchen, lounge and dining room." They are encouraged to continue doing normal everyday activities, such as gardening and doing the laundry, and there are 25 clubs, allowing them to be busily occupied in a range of stimulating actiivities.

One idea I particularly loved was that the homes were furnished and operated according to different "lifestyle categories", so that people could be accommodated in places and ways that were familiar to them. Read the Guardian article for more on this - I think it is a brilliantly innovative idea.

The village is (of course!) in the Netherlands, but it would be wonderful to see people around the world run with it.

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