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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, Insightful) by anubi on Tuesday November 18 2014, @05:23AM

    by anubi (2828) on Tuesday November 18 2014, @05:23AM (#117121) Journal

    I am most impressed by the compassionate way the Dutch are addressing this.

    Somehow this kind of caring seems so impractical in America, where everything has to be justified by economics.

    If this kind of thing was going on near me, I would collect up a bunch of 500 series telephones and start up a little legacy telephone exchange. They won't really have to know there is not an old-school strowger switch routing their call.

    There are several TV networks near me ( especially THIS and AntennaTV ) that are resurrecting a lot of the old TV serials and movies. Do not put it past me to retransmit streams of Jango music from the 30's to the 50's on low-power AM so they can get it on old 5-tube radios. Yeah, I know, like a Disneyland for old folks - but in their state of mind, its not amusement anymore. Its home. The last one they will know.

    I already hear the cries of the MAFIAA about copyright violation.

    Its already been pointed out that making a modern TV look and act like a 50 year old one is mostly cabinetry and an Arduino.

    No more remote control... you gotta up and rotate some knobs to make it work, and you only get a dozen channels or so - but it will work the same way.... one knob for the channel, the other for the volume.

    These newer interfaces puzzle them. Hell, I have had a VCR I do not think I ever figured out how to set the clock on - and was simply furious that someone designed the thing to have me have to set it when they knew full good and well the time signal was already being transmitted on the vertical interval signal in the video stream from the station.

    The most I should have had to set was the hour.

    I can understand their brain was programmed 50 years ago, and those legacy engrams are still running in them. To me, it would seem that if a legacy interface that works as they knew it to work 50 years ago can be provided, why not? At this stage in their life, why make them miserable? They do not have long to live anyway. At least let them live the rest of their life in comfort - and that also means letting them out of this insane economically centered rat-race we made for ourselves.

    "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
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