Amazing Village Built Exclusively For People With Dementia

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The Netherlands has created the coolest village ever! The Hogeweyk village looks just like any nice village at first glance, with housing, shops and smiling patrons. But this village is the first of its kind, built exclusively for people with dementia.

Hogeweyk Village offers everything people with dementia need to live a happy, normal and safe existence outside of notoriously dull (and often greatly loathed) nursing homes.

Dementia comes in many forms, including Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia is a terrible disease impacting at least 5 million people in the United States, and many more around the world. When a loved one is suffering with dementia it is difficult for family members to find the best solution, a place that keeps their loved one safe without taking away all sense of freedom.

The Hogeway Center in the Netherlands has invented the perfect solution for dementia patients. They have developed a gated village where people with dementia can live a free and normal life, safely within the perimeters of the specially designed village.

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Photo Credit: Madeleine Sars, Eindhoven

The town looks like any other, it’s even equipped with its own beauty salon!

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Photo Credit: Niek Roozen, Weesp

There are caregivers hidden on every corner, waiting and ready to help a patient in need. Caretakers and staff dress in normal clothing so that they don’t stand out, or make the village feel anything like a hospital or nursing home. The caregivers simply interact with patients like good friends and neighbors.

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Photo Credit: Anita Edridge

For the most part, the members of this village are allowed to do as they please, eat chocolate before bed, go out in the rain without a coat, yell at passing pedestrians, or sing while running down the hallway.

There are no judgments here, this is a home where everyone is treated as a human being instead of a forgetful patient. This grants residents a sense of independence other forms of elderly care lacks.

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Photo Credit: Madeleine Sars, Eindhoven

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  Photo Credit: KopArt, Amstelveen 

The village, known as Hogeweyk, is located in the town of Weesp, which is fairly close to Amsterdam. Hogeweyk dementia village has everything, including grocery stores, parks, restaurants, a theater and even a bar!

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Photo Credit: Hans Erkelens, Flickr

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Photo Credit: Hans Erkelens, Flickr

There are 23 homes within the community, housing a total of 152 seniors with some form of dementia.

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Photo Credit: KopArt, Amstelveen

Molenaar&Bol&VanDillen architecture firm designed the village, which officially opened its doors in 2009. The village cost the Dutch government a total of 20.1 million dollars (17.8 million euros), and an additional 1.7 million (1.5 million euros) was donated by local organizations.

The price per resident is around $5,657 per month, which is about on par with middle to upper end nursing homes that are far less spectacular.

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Photo Credit: Hans Erkelens

The rooms are decorated uniquely, each with lovely furnishings.

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Photo Credit: KopArt, Amstelveen

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Photo Credit: KopArt, Amstelveen

According to the official Hogeweyk website, “Hogeweyk offers 7 different lifestyles: Goois (upper class), homey, Christian, artisan, Indonesian and cultural. The residents manage their own households together with a constant team of staff members.

“Washing, cooking and so on is done every day in all of the houses… Hogeweyk offers its dementia-suffering inhabitants maximum privacy and autonomy. The village has streets, squares, gardens and a park where the residents can safely roam free.”

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Photo Credit: msagd.rlp.de

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Photo Credit: Hans Erkelens

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Photo Credit: KopArt, Amstelveen

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Photo Credit: Molenaar&Bol&VanDillen architekten 

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Photo Credit: KopArt, Amstelveen

Many dementia patients are trapped in sterile rooms with blank white walls, watching a fuzzy TV screen. This village offers people a much happier existence, and currently serves as a model for future long-term care facilities.

More Information: hogeweyk.dementiavillage.com