Meet Hogeweyk, the town inhabited exclusively by Alzheimer's patients
This Dutch community is home to 152 people, all of whom suffer from advanced Alzheimer's dementia.
South of Amsterdam (Holland), there is a community made up of 23 buildings accompanied by several parks, a theater, a supermarket, and a restaurant. So far, nothing seems unusual or out of the ordinary. However, this town’s entire population is made up of 152 seniors, all suffering from Alzheimer's and other diseases associated with senile dementia.
Hogeweyk is the name of this peculiar town and, according to the local medical institutions, it is a new type of a geriatric retirement plan, where doctors are responsible for facilitating a normal life for their patients. All the medicine in the town is stored in various unexpected places such as grocery stores and scattered pantries. A health professional can be found in every corner of Hogeweyk, and thus no emergency is left unattended.
The architect of this unprecedented town is Eloy van Hal, a graduate of consumer science, who has dedicated his life to developing health services and institutions since 1997. He had a simple but powerful idea: 'stop confusing people who are already confused'. In 2008, the new Hogeweyk model was designed (previously it was an asylum) and a few months later, the inhabitants of the new village were living a much higher quality of life and were able to maintain some memory of their experiences.
In a 2010 survey related to geriatric centers, the doctors and patients of Hogeweyk rated the town at 9.1/10, while the country average lingered behind with only a 7.5/10 rating.
According to a study by the World Health Organization (WHO), one out of every third senior reaches the end of their lives with Alzheimer's or another form of senile dementia.
I don't know if this is a good idea or bad. What do you think? Please let us know in the comments section below. On one hand, I am thinking this is a great idea because there will be lots of support for the people living with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers. People understanding what their neighbors go through may have more love and care toward their neighbor.
On the other hand, I am not sure if it's a good idea to isolate people who are sick and suffering from a particular disease. If we continue this path where will we stop? What do you think?
Also, check out our latest news about Alzherimer's Disease. Researchers are trying to slow down Alzheimer's Disease by stimulating brain neurons.
Image: Hogeweyk by Netherlands Tourism Bureau