“We too should take a vacation from our caregivers… enjoy the company of other people with dementia…”
It would be my hope that my envisioned Vacation Village would not promote stigma, but would be a place where people with dementia can come and enjoy the company of their families and others while taking a little break from everyday life and enjoying nature.
I have tried to avoid stigmatizing dementia in my ideas for this vacation place – starting with avoiding a name that includes dementia, like Dementia Village or Dementia Vacation. The point, rather, is to make a vacation spot that anyone would enjoy, and is accommodating, so that both the caregivers and the person with dementia can enjoy their holiday.
This is an interesting post on the stigma of dementia and how it is misconstrued and misused in ways that truly don’t benefit people who are living with the syndrome (or their families and caregivers).
I am really excited about this concept and would love to work there!!
“We want to help people enjoy life and feel that they are welcome here on this earth,” says Yvonne Van Amerongen.
Van Amerongen is a cofounder of Hogewey, a Dutch village created exclusively for people with dementia. Intended to honor residents’ values and culture, the village features 23 typically Dutch houses designed to feel natural to residents, whether they’re comfortable in settings that are urban, aristocratic, working class, religious, or something else.
The businesses in Hogewey’s town square are staffed by workers who are specially trained to understand and communicate with people who have dementia. Residents have the freedom to stroll through the square, choose activities that nurture their backgrounds and interests, and help prepare foods they like to eat. With its 2:1 caregiver-to-resident ratio, the Hogewey neighborhood is said to help residents eat better, require fewer medications, and feel more joy than residents who live in traditional nursing homes.
Welcome to ‘Dementia Village’
An innovative community in Amsterdam offers ailing seniors more freedom and a taste of the past. Is it a model for the future?