Many people might have depressing concepts of nursing homes, evoking images of elderly people sitting idle feeling sorry for themselves. Well, with the advancements of home care and especially the advent of “dementia care cities”—this stereotype of gloomy elder care facilities is breaking down minute by minute.
The Copenhagen-based firm Nord Architects is creating a series of centers for those living with dementia and Alzheimer’s that mirror vibrant cities or villages. That’s right—now you or your loved one suffering from this disease can live out your days in a happy and comfortable environment, not limited to four walls and institutions.
The reason for much of this is, well, need. Between 2000 and 2015, the number of deaths from dementia and Alzheimer’s rose 123%, causing companies to look differently at how to care for and handle those afflicted. These dementia villages began in The Netherlands several years ago as part of an innovative Dutch memory care center and has since premiered in France, deemed “Alzheimer’s Village”.
Architecturally, these villages are arranged into small neighborhoods around shared services, such as grocery stories, libraries and hair salons that are also open to the public in an attempt to help integrate communities. These villages bring about a familiarity and sense of routine, which people with dementia and Alzheimer’s find comforting. It also provides a sense of independence and activity, further enhancing their experience and lessening the symptoms of the disease.
The next European city to see these villages will be in a small town in Norway, where the residents who live there help serve as guides to the memory care patients. The United States can anticipate seeing these before too long as planning with Nord Architects ensues.
Morten Gregerson, a partner at Nord who leads the design, claims, “Before institutions became very modern in the ‘60s and ‘70s, we took care of sick people in small community-like places. Our families took care of their old people. It’s going back to how we did it before we institutionalized our way of treating the elderly.”
Help at Home can provide around the clock care for your senior loved ones by providing a stable, positive environment for seniors living with Alzheimer’s, helping them to stay active, social, and stay healthy.
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