Monday, April 09, 2012

Living in the Moment: Dutch Village Offers Dignified Care for Dementia Sufferers

I've read a few version of this online and am posting what I think is the best version. This from a story on Spiegal Online, the website for Der Spiegal magazine in Germany. The story ran here in metro daily newspapers and I think I saw something on TV as well.

In short, this is a story about a purpose-built village in the Netherlands called Hogeway, where dementia patients can live out their lives with dignity and respect. it also manages the elements of the earlier stages of Alzheimer's Disease, where patients are still active and can be quite a handful for family members and carers, as they wander off or forget people, places and things in their lives

"Instead of isolating these people in care homes, Hogewey keeps them dry, fed and clean while still making arrangements for their individual wants and needs."

Jo Verhoeff, 85, is among 152 residents of Hogewey. Here she is shown sitting...
Jo Verhoeff, 85, is among 152 residents of Hogewey. Here she is shown sitting on her bed in her home, which she shares with other elderly people who suffer from dementia.
The idea for Hogeway was born when the workers at a nursing home were asked if they would like to see their own parents in a facility like that. the answer was no and Hogeway was developed. According to one of the photo captions in the story, a place in Hogeway costs about 5,000 euros per month, which is comparable to conventional convalescent homes that is paid by Dutch health insurers

This is a massively expensive health care problem all around the world, including here in Australia. It seems that, for the Dutch at least, the cost of such a facility is not a barrier. As we Baby Boomers grow older, more and more people are going to be affected by Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. 

Enough from me. Please read the link in detail, because it's a beautiful story and I fear that dementia, like cancer does already, is going to touch most families before much longer, as our population ages. Make sure you take a minute or two and look through the photo gallery also.,1518,824582,00.html

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