As humans, every one of us gets old with time. The time we spend with our youthful energy and youth fades slowly. Our strength weakens, and sometimes we get diseases. Dementia is one of the diseases we can get when we get old. What is Dementia? Dementia is a group of symptoms that affects memory, thinking, and social abilities to the degree that it can interfere with daily life. The condition is most commonly seen in older adults but can also affect people in their 40s and 50s.
It can significantly impact the lives of those with dementia and their loved ones. But do we abandon our loved ones when they become part of this painful disease? No. We give them more care and love. This story is about a lovely group of people who went to great lengths to help people with Dementia in Canterbury, Kent.
A new community is blooming.
A unique community within a new neighborhood will be built as part of the 4,000-home Mountfield Park development near Canterbury, Kent. The village will have its own homes, shops, and cafes, but all the residents will be people with dementia.
One of the key benefits of a dementia village is that it provides a safe and secure environment for individuals with dementia. The village is familiar and comforting for the people who live in it. It has shared spaces that resemble a typical village or small town. This may be very important for people who may experience confusion or disorientation in unfamiliar environments.
Is it a medical treatment?
The village’s architects are de-institutionalizing the medical approach to dementia care. Frank van Dillen, co-founder of Dementia Village Advisors and one of the architects who designed Hogeweyk, said they are trying to approach less institutionalization as people with dementia want to live as normally as possible.
The village will provide care, medication, and everyday activities that most people take for granted. The residents can go to a restaurant, or grocery shop, sit in a bar, walk outside, and meet people.
What inspired you to build this village? Hogeweyk is the inspiration for this novel strategy. It is a dementia village near Amsterdam. Simon Wright, the chief executive of developers Corinthian Land, was inspired by the unrecognizable lives of those with dementia in Hogeweyk compared to those in England.
Is this a better solution?
While the village concept has been successful in Amsterdam, it may only be feasible or practical for some communities. As Stacy Cannon of the Alzheimer’s Society points out, the goal should be to make all neighborhoods more dementia-friendly so that people with dementia can continue to live where they have lived all their lives. This can involve simple changes, like being more patient with someone struggling with their coins at the supermarket checkout or improving signage around buildings.
It is also worth noting that dementia is a complex condition that affects people differently. While some people may benefit from living in a dementia village, others may prefer to live in their own homes with support from family members, home care services, or community resources.
It takes a high cost.
The development of the dementia village in Canterbury is a positive step forward in providing more options for people with dementia. At the same time, the Hogeweyk model is expensive, at about €6,000 (more than £5,300) per resident per month. The cost of care can vary depending on the support needed and the resources available in a particular community.
The concept of a dementia village offers a unique and innovative approach to caring for individuals with dementia. While it may not be feasible or practical for every community, the village model can significantly improve the standard of living for individuals with dementia and their families.
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