Shops, cafes and round-the-clock care: life in a ‘dementia village’

Can the planned development in Kent, modelled on the Dutch example of Hogeweyk, improve its residents’ lives?

It will be a new community within a new neighbourhood. As part of the 4,000-home Mountfield Park development near Canterbury, Kent, there are plans to build a village that will have its own homes, shops and cafes. All of the residents will be people with dementia. It is being modelled on Hogeweyk, a dementia village near Amsterdam, whose inhabitants live in shared houses, have a supermarket, park cafe, cinema, village squares and gardens, as well as round-the-clock care if they need it. “What struck us was how unrecognisable the lives of those with dementia were at Hogeweyk compared with those I’ve met in England,” Simon Wright, the chief executive of developers Corinthian Land, told the Times.

“A lot of nursing homes are based on a medical approach,” says Frank van Dillen, co-founder of Dementia Village Advisors and one of the architects who designed Hogeweyk. “We try to de-institutionalise that approach because people want to live as normally as possible.” So there is care and medication, but also everyday activities: “You want to go to a restaurant, do your own grocery shopping, sit in a bar, walk outside and meet people.”

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Source: the guardian
Shops, cafes and round-the-clock care: life in a ‘dementia village’