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posted by Blackmoore on Monday November 17 2014, @06:00PM   Printer-friendly
from the long-and-winding-road dept.

Josh Planos writes at The Atlantic that the isolated village of Hogewey on the outskirts of Amsterdam has been dubbed “Dementia Village” because it is home to residents who are only admitted if they’re categorized as having severe cases of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. "There are no wards, long hallways, or corridors at the facility," writes Planos. "Residents live in groups of six or seven to a house, with one or two caretakers. Perhaps the most unique element of the facility—apart from the stealthy “gardener” caretakers—is its approach toward housing. Hogeway features 23 uniquely stylized homes, furnished around the time period when residents’ short-term memories stopped properly functioning. There are homes resembling the 1950s, 1970s, and 2000s, accurate down to the tablecloths, because it helps residents feel as if they’re home."

In Holland, everyone pays into the state health care system during their working years, with the money then disbursed to pay for later-in-life expenses - and that means living in Hogewey does not cost any more than a traditional nursing home. The inspiration came about in 1992, when Yvonne van Amerongen and another member of staff at a traditional nursing home both had their own mothers die, being glad that their elderly parents had died quickly and had not had to endure hospital-like care. A series of research and brainstorming sessions in 1993 found that humans choose to surround and interact with other like-minded people of similar backgrounds and experiences; the arrangement at Hogewey provides this by ensuring that residents with similar backgrounds continue to live closely together. On a physical level, residents at Hogewey require fewer medications; they eat better and they live longer. On a mental level, they also seem to have more joy. "The people here keep their independence, as much as they can have of it, and they stay activ," says Theo Visser. "Here they still have a life. It's not the sort of slow, quiet death you get in other places. Here everyone feels at home."

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  • (Score: 2) by Blackmoore on Monday November 17 2014, @06:38PM

    by Blackmoore (57) on Monday November 17 2014, @06:38PM (#116868) Journal

    Go visit a hospice care or end of life facility. Go walk around a long term care location.

    I think I'll rather go out surrounded by the idea of what i remember; versus the reality of a room in a hospital-like area surrounded by hospital-like noises and smells.

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  • (Score: 2) by Non Sequor on Monday November 17 2014, @11:04PM

    by Non Sequor (1005) on Monday November 17 2014, @11:04PM (#116978) Journal

    I've been to one. I'd rather not be in one at all, but failing that, I'd rather not be in one which hides what it is.

    Write your congressman. Tell him he sucks.