LIVING AS USUAL FOR PEOPLE WITH SEVERE DEMENTIA
The world’s first ‘dementia village’, The Hogeweyk in The Netherlands, opened in 2009. It is world famous; inclusive; truly person-centred with high-quality care and treatment; revolutionary; groundbreaking; disruptive; and sustainable, and it breaks the stigma of dementia. We do all this so that people with dementia can continue their lives in a world that is safe for them and open to everyone.
We are The Hogeweyk®'s founders
We are known as the founders of The Hogeweyk (The Netherlands), also known as dementia village. It was our first trial of a complete de-institutionalisation of the traditional nursing home concept. It is not an institution, but a place where you can live your life as normally as possible.
What makes The Hogeweyk® unique?
- The Hogeweyk absolutely does not feel like an institution
- Has been working with a social approach to dementia for 15 years
- It is the world’s first ‘dementia village’ (opened in 2009)
- An inclusive community
- Truly person-centred
- Living a lifestyle
- Highly professional medical care and treatment
- Preservation of autonomy and freedom
- Active aging
- Active social life
Critics have compared The Hogeweyk to the “Truman Show”. These are often people who have never even been to The Hogeweyk. They describe The Hogeweyk as a stage for, “the reminiscence world”, in which actors help the residents live in a fictitious world.
Many Alzheimer’s experts have, however, valued The Hogeweyk for what it really is: a familiar and safe environment in which people with dementia live while retaining their own identity and autonomy as much as possible. They live in a social community with real streets and squares, a real restaurant with real customers, a supermarket for groceries and a theatre that hosts real performances. There is no fake bus stop or post office, there are no fake façades and sets. The restaurant employee, the handyman, the caretaker, the nurse, the hairdresser, etc.—in short: everyone who works at The Hogeweyk uses their professional skills to actually support the residents and are, therefore, certainly not actors.
A day at The Hogeweyk
What is life like at dementia village The Hogeweyk in The Netherlands? How do residents spend their days? Who do they meet and what do they experience? What is it like to work in one of the residences? What does a caregiver’s day look like? The stories below make it possible to experience The Hogeweyk® from different perspectives.
- Care worker
Excellent, highly complex care for people with dementia
In these stories about The Hogeweyk, life seems very normal. It is, but there is a detailed vision behind it that is supported by a very professional organisation. The professional, round-the-clock care and support is almost invisible to visitors. The nursing home organisation happens behind the scenes as much as possible to keep disruption to normal life to an absolute minimum.
7 pillars and 4 domains as backbone
Our concept and paradigm
The Hogeweyk® Care Concept arose from the knowledge and experience gained from transforming the old ‘Hogewey’ nursing home into ‘De Hogeweyk’, an inclusive community for people with severe dementia. Today, our integral and inclusive vision forms part of the Be Advice Paradigm©— a model that inspires and supports our clients to create a unique outcome for the elderly, time and time again, whether they are living with dementia or not.Be Advice Paradigm© More about what we do
- Start of the vision’s development in 1993, completion in 2009
- 188 residents
- 27 houses, 6 or 7 residents per house
- Professional care and support day and night
- Care profiles 5 and 7
- Approximately 200 FTE (FTE: 36 hours per week) including care, living and wellbeing
- Home supporters, individual healthcare professionals, nurses, practice nurses, doctors, psychologists, physiotherapists and social coaches work as part of this care
- The Hogeweyk® has streets, courtyards, alleyways and squares in the ‘Randstad’ style appropriate to the surroundings
- Facilities: restaurant, café, supermarket, theatre, office, various club rooms, a physiotherapist and a hair and beauty salon
- 4 lifestyles: traditional, urban, formal and cosmopolitan
- The houses have a living room (70-100 m2), kitchen, private bedrooms (17-20 m2), bathrooms, a storage and laundry room including a tumble dryer and washing machine and a private outdoor space (terrace/balcony)
- The Hogeweyk is financed by the Long-term Care Act (Wet Langdurige Zorg, WLZ)
A few years ago, CNN (the news channel) visited The Hogeweyk® in The Netherlands and characterised it as the world’s first Dementia Village. The CNN report brought us a lot of publicity, but we were not thrilled with the ‘Dementia Village’ label. With the words Dementia Village, the focus is on the disease (i.e. the dementia). The Hogeweyk® looks and feels like an ordinary neighbourhood where the focus is not on dementia, but on people and on a normal life. If you would like to learn more about our thoughts on this, get in touch—we are happy to discuss it with you.Let’s get in touch
The "dementia village" that's redefining elder care | Yvonne van Amerongen | TED
CNN's World's Untold Stories: Dementia Village
Living with Dementia: To Be or Not To Be | Yvonne van Amerongen | TEDxWarwick
Vox: How “dementia villages” work