Dementia Villages aim to “emancipate people living with dementia and include them in society.” Many of the people don’t know they live in a “dementia village.” The new generation of Alzheimers’ facilities is aiming to integrate patients with the communities around them.
The point is to make the Facility look like a typical Dutch town — with a restaurant (which is open to the public), a theater, a pub and a cluster of quaint townhomes. It can be difficult for visitors to tell the difference between the residents and the plainclothes staff.
Residents suffer from severe dementia but move about the village freely and interact with fellow patients. They also interact with the trained staff who blend into the community’s daily life. At the supermarket, for instance, residents can buy food, shampoo or a postcard, but no real money is exchanged and the cashier is trained to care for people with dementia. The homes come with a living room, kitchen, private bedrooms, a laundry room and outdoor space.
Professional support is available day and night. New residences become available only when a resident unfortunately passes away.
The World Health Organization expects the dementia population to reach 78 million by 2030. There are no dementia villages in the United States…yet.