Travel to the town of Weesp in the Netherlands and you can find a gated village called Hogeweyk. The village is making history as one of the top care facilities for people suffering with dementia.
Hogeweyk’s progressive practices have caught the world’s attention. The village staff consists of all doctors, nurses, and specialists providing 24-hour care in some of the most unusual ways.
The goal is to provide a space for severe dementia patients so that they can roam freely in what appears to be a normal, fully functional town.
There currently are 152 patients with dementia who reside in Hogeweyk. There are 23 houses that have been created with 7 different lifestyles available: Goois (upper class), Homey, Urban, Christian, Artisan, Indonesian and Cultural. In each house there is a community element that allows for daily tasks and household activities to be done as a group.
The households may be community oriented, but Molenaar&Bol&VanDillen (the architects and designers of Hogeweyk), placed the privacy and autonomy of each patient at the peak of importance, with each resident having his or her own spacious bedroom.
To achieve the complete vision of comfort and normalcy for the patients of this village, the specialists and creators of Hogeweyk have gone to extreme measures to create a hyperreality (false reality).The staff will not lie to the residents, but rather, not correct them unless asked. The 250 person medical team will even hold a host of non-medical occupations to add to the hyperreality of the village. Some examples of these occupations: restaurant server, cashier, grocery-store staff, and post-office worker.
However there is no exchange of currency. Hogeweyk residents benefit from an all-inclusive style of living with the payments arranged with the family.
And it comes as no surprise that Hogeweyk residents are much more active and require less medication than other nursing home patients with dementia.
As Hogeweyk continues to win awards in excellence of care and innovation, we wonder when the rest of the world will catch on to this style of compassionate and progressive nursing home care.
-via The Atlantic