REFLECTIONS ON A VISIT TO A DEMENTIA CARE VILLAGE

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Abstract

Hogewey village in Holland offers an alternative lifestyle for people with dementia. The model minimises disability and maximises wellbeing by providing a physical and social environment congruent with people's lifestyles. Residents live with those who have shared similar previous lifestyles and take an active role in all aspects of daily life, reflecting their interests and social norms.

The village is staffed by healthcare professionals and well-supported volunteers, who promote personhood in small social groups and facilitate normal life.

The authors explore how this approach contrasts with those used in the UK and draw conclusions about applying the model in the UK. They believe that healthcare professionals can learn from the Dutch example and adapt existing environments to reflect some of the concepts that are applied successfully at Hogewey.

Well-supported volunteers, integrated into teams, could take on the role of supportive friends rather than clinically orientated problem-solvers and help to reintegrate people with dementia into local communities.

Catharine Jenkins and Analisa Smythe discuss what the UK can learn from a Dutch model of care, where residents live in an environment carefully crafted to emulate their previous lifestyles

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