Are Dementia Villages the Future of Care?

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Hogeweyk, Netherlands, is a nursing home disguised as a village. Comprised of everything you’d expect to find in a real village, Hogeweyk helps people with dementia suffer a little less in their remaining years.  

The village is made up of 23 houses, each with six to seven residents and a resident carer trained in specialist dementia care. The carer cooks, escorts residents to social events in the village, helps them go shopping at the local village store and ensures the safety of all residents.      

Within the village is a supermarket where residents who are lucid enough can pay for groceries using real money. However, the majority of residents have severe dementia and are instead given a lump sum of Hogeweyk currency per household. The residents are then responsible for creating a budget - just as they would do if they were living independently. Other features include a theater, a restaurant, a hairdressing salon and even a pub.    

Specially trained dementia carers are dressed in plain clothes and stationed throughout the complex. The carers make up the workers behind each store the residents use to ensure every resident has immediate help if they begin to become confused or emotional.

The concept is based around enabling people with dementia to live as normal life as possible and retain the independence they have had all their lives. Van Hal, Senior Managing Consultant at Hogeweyk said:

"We said to each other 'What do we want for ourselves and our mums and dads?"

The consensus they came to: normalcy and choice.

Hogeweyk internalised this response and made choice the most important theme at the complex:  

"If we know that you have sugar in your coffee, we will still ask you every day, 'Do you want sugar in your coffee?' so you can make that choice every day. That you can still decide what you put in your coffee is important."

Choice is an important part of care at the moment, with a large majority of problems in the industry stemming from a lack thereof. The lack of choice has culminated in the industry not performing to the high levels of care warranted. The problem predominantly lies with the absence of enough credible care home facilities, as well as a low supply and high demand, thus, homes have become complacent and are neglecting to adequately train, monitor and employ qualified staff. To amend the current mess the care industry finds itself in, growth needs to be generated.

Accordingly, the Dementia Care & Nursing Home Expo was created for care home owners, and strives to inspire change in the industry. The event showcases state-of-the-art products, technology and trends that will not only reinvent and expand the technological capacity of the industry, but also help care and nursing home businesses improve the level of care and facilities they can offer their residents.

3,000 care home owners and senior decision makers are due to attend the show on the 25th & 26th  April 2018 at NEC, Birmingham. Tickets to attend are free, making this the only must attend event for care home owners looking to develop and grow their care home businesses.

To register for your free ticket click here.

If you are interested in exhibiting and meeting thousands of care home owners and senior decision makers actively looking to purchase products and services to run throughout their national and international care homes, please contact Steve Todd, Event Director, now on:

Tel: 0117 990 2109