Dementia Villages

A ‘Novel’ Treatment Method For Dementia?

Such medical settlements seek to administer treatment away from unfamiliar, clinical settings and in spaces that resemble more typical surroundings 

Reminiscence therapy (RT) is a non-pharmacological intervention that involves discussing and finding meaning in memories, events, and experiences from the past. 

It aims to evoke positive emotions associated with fond memories and stimulate mental activity in people with memory disorders.  

In the last decade, RT came to be administered in innovative in-patient treatment facilities designed exclusively for people with dementia. One of the foremost examples includes “dementia villages”. 

+“Dementia villages” are essentially medical residential townships in which dementia patients reside alongside medical professionals like doctors and caregivers. 

Like most small villages, these villages have their own town square, theater, garden, market, restaurant, and post office. There are homes faithfully resembling the 1950s, 1970s, and 2000s—the decades that most of the patients belong or relate to. 

The residents are encouraged to live normal lives, without constant reminders of their illness or the limitations of a care facility. 

However, these places also have cameras monitoring residents every hour of the day and medical caretakers posing in street clothes.  

There is only one door in and out of town and the security system is designed to keep the community safe. But, friends and family are encouraged to visit. 

The Hogeweyk in the Netherlands, Germany’s Tönebön am See, and “The Village” in Canada have gained recognition as successful dementia villages wherein residents require fewer medications, eat better, live longer, and appear more joyful than those in standard elderly-care facilities.

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