Dementia Patients Have Their Own Village

Dutch establishment lets dementia patients live normally

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 22, 2014 5:48 PM CST

(Newser) – Imagine suffering from dementia while living a relatively normal life—cooking, cleaning, and going about your business. Well, elderly people in mental decline are experiencing just that at a so-called village in the town of Weesp, in Holland, reports Gizmodo. Called Dementia Village, it allows residents to go about their day-to-day lives, buying what groceries they want, getting their hair cut, going out for dinner, and so on. Of course caregivers help them, but they still avoid the dehumanization that many dementia patients endure in long-term medical care.

A German Alzheimer's center found that patients' greatest risk was wandering off on their own—and even created a fake bus stop for it, the Telegraph reports. So Dementia Village simply put up gates and security fences to keep patients around. This may sound like a typically progressive Dutch idea, but with Baby Boomers getting older and Alzheimer's increasing by 68% since 2000, this idea could travel. And the Village's administrator says other countries have shown an interest in it, the New York Times reports. "Everyone is struggling with the same problem," she said. Of course, there are no shortage of theories on how to avoid dementia.

  (Shutterstock)
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