When a loved one develops Alzheimer’s, it can often be incredibly stressful for the families caring for them. The disease itself is categorized as a form of dementia, and it is estimated that 5.2 million Americans suffered from Alzheimer’s during 2014. For patients, the symptoms can often make the world and their everyday lives seem incredibly scary. One treatment facility in the Netherlands has developed a kind of small village called Hogeweyk, exclusively for dementia patients, to allow them to live their lives more easily.
Patients are able to live life with more dignity as they do everyday things on their own.
The gated community is designed to look like the 1950’s because senior patients often hang on to long-term memories better than short-term.
The community is located just on the outskirts of Amsterdam.
The sense of familiarity in the community is designed to help seniors be at ease and avoid frustration.
The atmosphere is purposefully laid back and calming.
The residents are often encouraged to eat together and socialize, which develops a sense of community.
While being under the care of the facility, residents live fairly autonomous lives. The staff’s goal is to make them feel less like a patient and more like a person.
The village is made up of several housing complexes, restaurants, theaters, parks, and gardens.
There is always a special care worker nearby called a "villager" to help residents if any problems were to arise. Each one is a highly trained geriatric nurse specializing in the care of the residents.
While residents are often calmer and require less care, Hogeweyk currently has a capacity of 152 residents, and there is a long waiting list for admission.
While the grounds are already quite vast for a facility like this, there are hopes to expand and possibly care for more individuals suffering from the disease.