HOME IS WHERE THE MIND IS

De­men­tia and Alzheimer’s pa­tients can live like they used to, in this self-con­tained world.

The Peak (Singapore) - - The Brief -

No mat­ter how well-equipped or com­fort­able our ail­ing and aged loved ones claim to be, none of us are ever re­ally keen on send­ing them – or, in the fu­ture, our­selves – to a nurs­ing home.

The homes are sim­ply too far re­moved from day-to-day re­al­ity, with strict lock­down rules to pro­tect those affl icted with de­men­tia or Alzheimer’s from wan­der­ing off and ac­ci­den­tally hurt­ing them­selves. Who wants to live out their last chap­ters of life sur­rounded by strangers and strange things?

That was ex­actly what for­mer nurs­ing-home man­ager Yvonne van Ameron­gen thought, so she and some col­leagues de­cided to build an en­tire “vil­lage” for mem­ory-im­paired folks. Based in the small town of Weesp, in the Nether­lands, the vil­lage/ fa­cil­ity of De Ho­geweyk oc­cu­pies 1.5ha and in­cludes 23 hous­ing units.

It may look like a cold fortress, since gates and se­cu­rity fences are ob­vi­ously still nec­es­sary, but walk in­side and you’ll see a lit­tle replica of the world we know: restaurants, land­scaped green­ery, cafes, sa­lons, su­per­mar­kets, gar­dens and even a theatre. All are avail­able to res­i­dents to freely pa­tro­n­ise in com­plete safety, as care­tak­ers are dis­guised as staff in the shops.

These watch­ful eyes will also look af­ter grams and pappy in their homes, act­ing as room­mates in themed apart­ments. That’s right, there are seven dif­fer­ent styles – such as crafts, cul­ture, re­li­gious and

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