New Villages Are The Future Of Dementia & Alzheimer’s Care

photo showing a mock up of co-existence village in denmark. this photo shows elderly people walking around, and doing leisurely activities in the village. Some of them are seen walking, one is seen sitting with a basket in her hand, one man is seen on the roof of a building. The scene depicts a quite environment where elderly people with dementia and Alzheimer's can feel at home.

There are several assisted care/ nursing homes around the world that specialize in Dementia and Alzheimer’s care – elderly people who suffer from these disorders are admitted to these places, and staff members provide them care regularly. However, the average nursing home we are aware of can be depressing and boring. Every nursing home architecturally consists of the same design – big building, enclosed spaces and lots of rooms in order to care for as many people as possible. In addition, they look nothing like the places that their residents are used to living in.

Care for people with Dementia and Alzheimer’s, over the years, has become more important. Number of deaths because of Alzheimer’s and dementia rose 123% between 2000 and 2015. In 2018 alone, these diseases cost United States $288 billion. (One in three elderly people in the United States die from these diseases) To handle the increased number of patients, and to give them better care, a lot of care centers are moving away from the traditional institutional architecture and towards village based designs. The idea behind such care driven villages is that a care center is arranged into small neighborhoods, and has all the amenities and establishments that a regular neighborhood would have.

Nord Architects, a Copenhagen based company is designing and building a series of such centers for patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia that feel more like cities than depressing care institutions. One such care center, being called “Alzheimer’s Village”, is in southwestern France with all sorts of facilities and services hair dressers, grocery stores, a library, etc. These shared facilities will be open to the public as well.

Similar projects are coming up in Denmark and Norway that are based on the concept of villages than institutions. Co-existence village, a new urban development being worked on in Odense, Denmark, integrates a dementia village into a residential neighborhood with family housing, youth housing, day care, cafes, playgrounds and several businesses.

Projects like Co-existence village and Alzheimer’s village shun the traditional method of putting elderly people in institutions, and instead are designed to include everyone irrespective of their abilities and disabilities. Such villages also help elderly people with Alzheimer’s and dementia to transition to a new care facility because they are used to the environment provided by these villages.

To read more about these fascinating projects, visit the source link and Nord Architects’ website.

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Source: Fast Company

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