Friday, December 30, 2022

Living Better With Alzheimer’s Thanks to a Village Square, a Garden and Autonomy

Estate planningThere are a growing number of communities emerging around the world that are experimenting with models of care for people suffering from various stages of dementia. These new communities raise fundamental questions about what care for Alzheimer’s disease and other degenerative disorders should like and whether the traditional nursing home model is outdated.

The village concept, which was adopted by The Care Village on New Zealand’s Lake Rotorua, recreates the real world within a safe environment. Residents can shop for groceries, cook, and continue with their regular routines with support from staff who are taught to empower the residents rather than take over their chores for them. In this environment, residents are encouraged to meet friends and enjoy activities such as walks along the lake or gardening. 

The main criticism for this concept is that it creates a make believe environment, and recreating the outside world is not cheap to do. For example, a French village cost $30 million to construct, while a traditional nursing home with similar number of residents only cost about $10 million. However, proponents say that it is less expensive to operate the village in the long term than traditional nursing homes, which can be largely attributed to less staff turnover and healthier residents.

For more information see Marthe Fourcade “Living Better With Alzheimer’s Thanks to a Village Square, a Garden and Autonomy”, Bloomberge Businessweek, December 13, 2022.

Special thanks to Lewis Saret (Attorney, Washington, D.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.

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