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.

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Carl in SC
Feb 25, 2014 8:57 AM CST
We've had to look after the care of my elderly mother after we found she had some dementia about 12 years ago. She was living alone at that time. Moved her into a senior high-rise apartment but had to move her in less than 2 years. She lived with us several months but tended to wander off believing she still had a home "down the road". After she had 3 stints placed in arteries she was transferred to a nursing home where she stayed til passing away this January at 92. Gradually Alzheimer's overtook her. Maybe one of these villages would have been better if we had them in the US.
Norman Johnson
Feb 23, 2014 3:52 PM CST
Sounds like a good idea.They should have those here in the US.Of course, they'd cost quite a bit to join,as with everything else here that deals with the elderly.A fake bus when they do escape, a giant white balloon would come after them and corral them back home like in that '60's tv show, The Prisoner.
Feb 23, 2014 3:13 PM CST
In a decade or 2, I will need a nice hippie/dippy nursing home. It should cater to the counter culture and have MJ edibles.