creating new worlds for people with dementia

by:Runcheng Chuangzhan     2019-09-26
In my last article in my series on dementia, I briefly talked about the village of De Hogeweyk, which is known for its informal name \"village of dementia.
Located in the small town of Weesp on the outskirts of Amsterdam, De Hogeweyk is a four-acre complex that looks like any other small village with supermarkets, hair salons, theaters and post offices.
The difference is that in De Hogeweyk, every resident suffers from severe dementia and all shops and businesses are equipped with caregivers and health care providers.
There is also only one way to get in and out of town, through a set of glass double doors constantly monitored by cameras, which is part of the security system covering the entire de hogevec campus.
Eloy Van Hal is one of the founding members of De Hogeweyk and one of its leading developers.
The invoice from the dementia care center explains, \"residents live their own lives in de hogevick.
They walked or walked freely throughout the village.
Everyone, volunteers and employees working in the village are responsible for the residents.
We all take care of the residents as they move around.
We are all staring at them.
\"Residents choose how to spend their days in the village.
They can socialize with friends in public areas, visit the homes of other residents, or go to shops or any supermarket to buy groceries.
At the end of each day, caregivers on site will help residents find their way home.
Residents of De Hogeweyk live longer, eat better and look happier than residents of standard long-term care facilities.
However, life at De Hogeweyk is not without controversy.
While it operates like a real village with open streets and neighborhood shops, in the end it remains a closed and protected community with residents living outside of the normal social structure.
As Van Hal points out, this is not ideal.
\"We want to build an open, dementia-friendly community,\" van Hal said . \".
\"We want to create a full village where people without dementia can rent an apartment.
We can have all kinds of people.
Just as we create a safe environment for children, we should create a safe environment for people with dementia.
For decades to come, I don\'t think we even need dementia villages.
Maybe we can create a community that is dementia friendly.
This is the outlook for the future.
\"It may take many more years to achieve this vision globally, as many local and regional governments impose restrictions on severely dementia patients walking alone on the streets.
Nevertheless, at the micro level, dementia caregivers can create an environment for individuals to support autonomy, individual choice and freedom.
Even if it is not possible to create a completely new and safe environment for people with dementia, some smaller steps can be taken to improve the quality of life.
Polluting the environment with familiar items can have an important impact on residents\' well-being and quality of life.
In an interview with The Washington Post 2017, the director of a nursing home in the former East German city of Dresden described how he used the nursing home environment to rebuild his life before the fall of the Berlin Wall.
This is the most familiar era for most of his residents.
It all started with the purchase of the East German motorcycle he used to decorate the nursing home in the 1960 s. “[Residents]
Remember the features of the motorcycle and tell us the story of how they used to travel with friends, \"said Gunter Wolfram, director of the nursing home, citing.
Wolfram went on to buy other items common to the communist East Germany of the 1960 s, such as radios, hair dryers and advertisements.
As the Post reported: Wolfram and his team of nurses soon noticed the changes in patients who spent a day imitating the German environment they once knew.
They began to drink more water and eat more, and suddenly they could go to the toilet by themselves.
\"They showed the ability that was not shown at all before that,\" Wolfram said . \".
These non-medical methods and innovative care models can consistently improve the quality of life of people with dementia and their caregivers.
Integrating these new approaches to dementia care into the healthcare system, with a focus on more traditional medical services and care, will be the focus of the next article in my series.
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