Are There Alternatives to Nursing Homes for People with Dementia?

According to the World Health Organization, approximately 50 million people around the globe suffer from dementia, with nearly 10 million new cases being diagnosed each year. The number of people with dementia may double by 2030, and may even triple by 2050. But how do you care for all of these people with diminishing memories? One innovative care model has been pioneered in the Netherlands, where a gated "village" called Hogewey looks after 152 residents. This progressive facility bears little resemblance to the sterile, characterless environment sometimes found in nursing homes. At Hogewey, the residents -- all of whom have advanced dementia -- essentially live a “normal life” in a village with a restaurant, grocery store, and theater. Yet the employees working behind the check-out counter or waiting tables are all highly-trained caregivers who keep tabs on the residents at all time. Reports indicate that Hogewey's residents are more active, live longer, and require less medication than most dementia patients.

Recreating a normal life:

  • Residents are free to enjoy the four-acre, courtyard-like grounds, with gardens, fountains, and benches -- but there’s no way they can wander off.

  • To live at Hogewey, residents must have severe dementia and require attention 24 hours a day. Employees do their best to keep residents from feeling lost, frightened, or agitated.

  • There are 23 communal housing units at Hogewey, and seven "lifestyle themes," such as crafts, culture, religion, and urban. The goal is to provide a life similar to an individual's formative years.

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More Info: Business Insider

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