At first glance, the village of Hogeweyk in the Dutch town of Weesp looks like an ordinary place. There are shops and residences, parks and restaurants, and even a theater. There are only 152 people living here, though, and you might notice that all of them are elderly. The younger people here are actually staff–nurses, doctors, and specialists–who work around the clock.
The village is actually a pioneering step in the future of elder and dementia care. Each of the 152 residents are eldery folks living with severe Alzheimer’s and/or dementia, and need nursing home facilities. However, instead of confining them to a depressing room in an institution-like setting, the residents Hogeweyk enjoy complete freedom as well as privacy and autonomy.
And it seems to be working. According to a study, the patients at Hogeweyk are more active and need less medication than patients elsewhere.
Hogeweyk opened in 2009 and has been successful in its treatment plan. Despite its fancy appearance, the cost is actually comparable to other, more traditional care facilities in the Netherlands. And more importantly, it gives people living with dementia and Alzheimer’s a chance to live out their lives in a pleasant, safe, and happy environment.