Are villages the future of dementia care?
Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 | Blog
By 2025, the Alzheimer’s Society estimate that there will be one million people living with dementia across the United Kingdom. Because the demand for dementia care is rapidly increasing, the government and healthcare providers are thinking differently on how we provide new forms of care and support.
Dementia villages are a new way of providing care, they give residents much more freedom and flexibility than a traditional care home. The villages have their own infrastructure including shops and bars, allowing residents to socialise and freely enjoy the facilities available.
Hogeweyk in the Netherlands was the first dementia village of this kind, where 250 members of staff provide 24 hour care for 152 residents across 23 houses. The staff run the onsite bars, restaurants and shops, and are always ready to provide support should anything happen. Residents at Hogeweyk are calmer, happier and often require less medication.
There isn’t a single building or service in Hogeweyk that accepts cash, as handling money can be distressing for some people living with dementia, so residents are free to take what they need. The emphasis of the dementia village is to remove confusing limitations. Staff will step should they feel there is any immediate danger. This hands off approach to providing dementia care results in a relaxed environment where residents don’t feel restricted.
The first UK dementia village is being planned in Canterbury and is expected to open in 2025. The concept is a positive step on the road to improving how we care for those living with dementia.