A facility in Holland is changing the way dementia is treated and it’s proven to be miraculous
How would you feel if you woke up one morning and forgot the names of your loved ones? What if you couldn’t remember your surroundings, how you got there and where on earth it was in the first place? What if the most basic things like hygiene and eating became inconsequential, insignificant? Impossible?
Tucked away in a town called Weesp in the Netherlands is a village called Hogeway. It’s surrounded by security fences and closed off to the outside world by gates. On paper it might look like a foreboding environment, however, inside these walls is stuff of magic.
Hogeway is a pioneering care facility for people with dementia. The village has a supermarket, a theater, parks, a village square, a bar, a restaurant and a post office, all functioning as a reminder that the 152 seniors residing inside can still have some semblance of a normal life despite being afflicted with a terrible neurological disease.
Dementia is a broad category of diseases where the patient suffers from loss of memory and the ability to think. The most common of these diseases is Alzheimer’s disease which makes up approximately 70% of cases of dementia. There is little understanding of the nature of Alzheimer’s and there is no means to stop its progression. The burden of care is usually placed on loved ones initially before the sufferer is eventually put into a home for specialized care.
This is where Hogeway is different. It provides the care required for the people that have this disease, with 24 hour care and assistance available when needed. There are security cameras everywhere monitoring the residents and caregivers walk among the patients in normal street clothes. However, where it’s common for normal society to segregate people with dementia into poorly equipped old age homes with inadequate counseling services, Hogeway makes it a point to provide a life for their seniors exactly like it used to be.
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