The location: Weesp, the Netherlands, where a 23-unit community for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia opened its doors last spring. It’s called the Hogewey complex, and it offers an unrestrained approach to care.
Writer John Tagliabue tells us more about the European senior community in this article from The New York Times. From the way it’s described on paper, the Hogewey complex isn’t that different from assisted living homes here in the US, which “is exactly the point,” says Tagliabue.
Though it may be hard to get past the sticker shock — it costs $6,555 a month to live there — residents of the Hogewey can move freely about the community as they are able, can enjoy a number of activities offered there, can shop at a supermarket, eat at a restaurant or watch a movie at the theater, all without leaving the grounds. Essentially, they enjoy as close to a normal life as is possible with Alzheimer’s.
Only six to eight individuals live in an apartment, “cared for by two or more trained professionals,” per the article. Such a high resident to caregiver ratio in a small neighborhood-like setting is best for those with memory impairments, as a nursing study released in September 2011 indicated.
Learn more from the ideas and new approaches to elder care being explored around the world here.