Photograph: Madeleine Sars, Eindhoven
Edmiston Jones is a member of the Ageing Asia Alliance and I attended a Dementia Masterclass facilitated by the Alliance in Sydney. The Masterclass gave me the opportunity to listen to world renowned experts share current thinking regarding dementia care and to spend time with other leading providers and consultants.
The Masterclass was presented by Yvonne van Amerongen and Jannette Spiering, from De Hogeweyk Dementia Village in The Netherlands, who were both instrumental in setting up the community of 152 residents.
The village has been constructed with 23 houses of 6-8 residents in each house living together in ‘lifestyle groups’ that share similar interests and backgrounds. The residents opinion on life, housing, values and standards determine their “lifestyle”. The decor, design and direct environment of the dwellings are adapted to suit each separate lifestyle.
Other facilities in the community include a restaurant, pub, theatre, supermarket and beautician. The aim of the village is to offer people with dementia appropriate care in an environment which supports them in living life as usual, in a normal household and in a normal and safe society.
The key objectives for residents within the De Hogeweyk Village community are;
· to live life as usual
· to live with others
· to live life with freedom
· to live with professional support
· to live with safety
· to live a social life
· to live with family
· to be part of society
· to enjoy outside life
These objectives are aimed at providing the residents with a familiar environment that is as similar as possible to their previous home. When it comes to the daily routine, residents experience a variety of recognizable stimuli so that they are challenged to continue participating in that lifestyle. The presentation by Yvonne and Jannette confirmed that the residents greatly enjoy the community lifestyle created by the village.
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