The Netherlands’ “Dementiaville” Creates a Sense of Artificial Normalcy
As millions of baby boomers age, the need for quality longterm memory care is quickly growing. More and more countries are beginning to recognize dementia as a public health crisis and are taking different approaches to address the issue and prepare for a growing population who will soon need effective memory care.
The Netherlands took an innovative approach to geriatric care with an entire village dedicated to memory care called “Dementiaville.” The town of Hogewey, dubbed “Dementiaville,” is a pioneering care community allowing dementia residents to live freely in their own homes and continue to partake in the same activities they enjoyed before being diagnosed with dementia.
The village was created to resemble a sense of artificial reality — all caregivers are disguised as barbers, housekeepers and shop assistants. Residents walk around freely and visit onsite cinemas, restaurants, barbershops and grocery stores, which are all manned by qualified caregivers. About 150 individuals with dementia live in the 23 homes that are deliberately designed in a 1950s style to mirror the past and create a sense of normalcy.
Source: Fernandes, Edna. “Dementiaville: How an experimental new town is taking the elderly back to their happier and healthier pasts with astonishing results.” Daily Mail UK. 4 March 2012, dailymail.co.uk