Where am I? The Dutch village where everyone suffers from dementia

Residents of the village of Hogeweyk in the Netherlands lead a normal life: go to the grocery store, discussing the weather, enjoying the game of bingo. But there is one thing that differentiates 152 villagers: all of them suffer from dementia.

Where am I? The Dutch village where everyone suffers from dementia

Where am I? The Dutch village where everyone suffers from dementia

Where am I? The Dutch village where everyone suffers from dementia

Hogeweyk — nursing home, disguised as ordinary village. It helps people with mild and severe forms of dementia to live a normal, fulfilling lives. The village consists of 23 houses, each of which are six or seven people and a guardian who prepares and helps people at home to keep them safe.

Hogeweyk has opened its doors in 1993. First it was the usual nursing home. But then the staff realized that there is a more humane way to help people.

Where am I? The Dutch village where everyone suffers from dementia

Where am I? The Dutch village where everyone suffers from dementia

Where am I? The Dutch village where everyone suffers from dementia

Employees of the village are trained to focus on what can patients do, not what they can't. Hogeweyk pays great attention to proper selection of words: the staff did not treat patients and care for them.

Van Hal said that medical professionals are trying to find approach to each resident, taking into account his needs. Patients can freely walk around and even afford a few drinks at a local pub. And everywhere they are surrounded by medical professionals. But to leave the village with an area of 1.5 hectares, the residents can't.

Where am I? The Dutch village where everyone suffers from dementia

Where am I? The Dutch village where everyone suffers from dementia

Where am I? The Dutch village where everyone suffers from dementia

Studies have shown that loneliness is just as deadly as Smoking, and two times more dangerous than obesity. Since older people are the age group most likely to live alone, Hogeweyk feels responsible for the fact that people get as much social contact as they need.

It is also important that people went outside, found the study. Hogeweyk is trying to encourage residents to walk. Mood and overall health of patients improve, even when they are just sitting on a bench on the street. Van Hal says that trivia is more important than anything — even if it's just a good Cup of coffee for the patient.

Keywords: Illness | Age | Dementia | A village | A nursing home | The Netherlands

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