Hogewey, located in the Netherlands, is the only care facility of it’s kind in the world and is home to over 150 people with severe dementia. Started by 2 nurses who feared having to put their own parents in a traditional nursing home, ‘Dementia Village’ is a place where residents live a seemingly normal life, but are actually being watched by caregivers at all times. There are almost twice as many caregivers as residents in the village and they staff everything from the grocery store to the hair salon.
There is only one way out of the alternate reality of Dementia Village – a door that is locked and under 24 hr surveillance – an important safety measure for wandering residents. If a resident of Hogewey approaches the door a caretaker will suggest that this door is locked and perhaps they could look for a different door.
Residents are free to roam around, visiting shops, getting their hair done or being active in one of the 25 clubs available at Hogewey. As well as the psychological benefits this provides, staying active also improves general physical health. The residents here take fewer medications, eat better and live longer. And although joy is a hard thing to measure, the staff at Hogewey think their residents are more content on a day to day to basis.
Is this the future of Dementia Care?
Germany and Switzerland have been studying the Hogewey life and might be next to create their own dementia care villages. Can something like this work in the United States? Would you prefer to send your loved ones to a Dementia Village?