Welcome to part 2 of Inspire’s 2 part series on dementia and Alzheimers!
NEW Breakthrough in Dementia Treatment
In a gated community is Weesp, just 30minutes outside Amsterdam in the Netherlands, is a revolutionary, purpose built, 24-hour, care facility for people with dementia, Hogewey. Hogewey is setting new standards and raising the bar for dementia care. Since, its concept in 1992, Hogewey opened in 2009 and is now pioneering a totally new way to care for individuals suffering from dementia and Alzheimers.
With a 250 strong staff, Hogewey is called home by around 150 dementia patients – and home is what it is. Through use of a consistent, all day, ‘reminiscence therapy’ method, residents are deemed to be substantially more active, less susceptible to the effects of dementia and require significantly less medication than those living in a traditional nursing home or aged care facility.
The residents at Hogewey have a theatre, supermarket, hairdresser and various cafes and eateries. So what makes it different from any other retirement complex? Each staff member, from teachers and restaurant managers, to shopkeepers and hairdressers is a nurse, aged care, health care, or purposefully trained professional.
The residents live in groups of around six people, across 23 different homes, which they are allocated to according to their lifestyle needs. There is a traditional Dutch house, houses for urban city dwellers and a house for religious residents, whether Christians and another religion. Residents are also split into social groups with residents from aristocratic families living together and the same with those who are tradespeople or farm workers. This segregation has a huge impact on the dementia care given and allows residents to feel familiarity and a community spirit within their accommodation.
Alzheimer’s experts have voiced opinions that it is unrealistic to think dementia sufferers will be able to retain new information. The strategy is now focused on maintaining their safety and wellbeing. This may be labelled a hyper-reality or illusion by some; it is so for the very best reasons. While Hogewey staffs do not actively correct residents on their living and health situation, if they are asked, the organisation policy is to tell the truth. While some argue the facilities costs of more than 20 million euro are excessive, the exceptional quality of life given to these final stage dementia residents makes it a small price to pay.
What are your thoughts on the ground breaking changes set to occur for dementia sufferers? Do you think that with the Australian rates of dementia set to triple by 2050, similar facilities are needed here? Have you had experience with dementia care?
Are you are an aged carer working within the realm of dementia sufferers? We’d love to hear your opinions on Australia’s health care and future dementia treatment. Leave us a comment below!
Also, if you missed out on The Future of Dementia and Alzheimer’s in Australia Part 1 – What is Dementia, don’t forget to catch up by Clicking Here.
Topics: Dementia, Dementia Care, Aged Care, Alzheimers, Dementia Symptoms
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