Her Mom Had Alzheimer's So She Sent Her Here, The Place Even Took Me By Surprise
Appearing like most entrances to an office or medical building, in reality this front door is a gateway to an unusual, all-inclusive village that provides safe haven for its distinguished residents.
In the Netherlands town of Weesp, lies a friendly little village called De Hogeweyk. This gated community is specifically designed to offer its residents the freedom to lead normal and independent lives for as long as possible.
Opened since 2009, its pioneer development is home to 152 dementia patients, with a staff of 250 full and part-time support and medical personnel.
Hogeweyk provides individual apartments and complete facilities to meet the needs of its occupants.
Though the 24-hour medical treatment and safeguards for residents may sound like any other nursing home, here the patients are encouraged to have their independence with the appearance of a normal town.
Yet, it's a normal town that is within a secure environment.
Designed by the architect group Molenaar & Bol & VanDillen, the buildings are arranged so that interior garden areas offer plenty of sky and greenery.
The layout of the structures provide a protected space from the outside world.
The enclosed village has everything. There's even a market for those who are comfortable doing their own shopping.
Store shelves are lined with food and toiletry items to meet personal shopping needs.
The caretakers dress in normal clothes so as not to stand out from the residents. However, they are readily available if someone needs a helping hand.
Several dining facilities are available for group or family meals. This "restaurant" has a traditional styling for a formal appeal.
Prepared food is served to the community and available for residents who want to gather together, or have family and friends visit.
Quite like an inclusive cruise ship, a modern, upscale area offers a theater for entertainment.
Art classes are just one of the many enjoyable activities provided for residents.
The individual apartments have seven different design choices to fit the occupant's taste and style.
Each apartment is outfitted for daily household chores, such as washing and cooking, supervised by a full staff of caregivers.
Comfortable balconies are available for additional living space.
inhabitat.com/hogeweyk Watch the full tour of the lovely village and facility in this BBC news segment.
Whether reading or snoozing, the outside patios offer opportunity for fresh air and relaxation in a safe environment.
Corridors are part of the design to encourage relaxing strolls without concern. Even if a patient gets lost, one of the attentive staff members will quickly find them.
Similar to other nursing homes, each resident contributes almost $6,000 a month for the opportunity to be a resident with all expenses included.
With their lives feeling more normal, patients need less medication, and on average, have a significant increase in life expectancy. With these positive outcomes, the Dutch government is considering building more facilities like De Hogeweyk.