The village of Hogevei not far from Amsterdam is a quiet, almost idyllic place. A pair of dozens of pretty houses with well-kept front gardens, a cozy square, a toy central square with its own post office and even a theater. The inhabitants of the village, very elderly people, stroll gracefully along the streets, wander home with packages from the supermarket, talk leisurely over a cup of tea or coffee in a cafe. Vendors and cashiers, bartenders and even wipers have long known all the residents in person and by name, smiled in a friendly way and waved their hands from afar.
But it's not real. For each resident of the village of Hogevei watch video cameras around the clock. In appearance, nothing gives a nursing home, but smiling salesmen and bartenders are not at all what they seem. All this makes the life here a bit like the famous film "The Truman Show." With the difference that everyone who works in the village is not actors, but doctors or junior medical personnel with special training in the field of geriatrics. And everyone who lives here, suffer from severe forms of dementia or Alzheimer's disease.read also Alzheimer's disease can be treated?
Hogeway is a closed medical facility, the only retirement home of its kind in the world. The idea to create such a place came to mind Yvonne van Amerongen, who worked for many years in "ordinary" nursing homes in Holland. And every day, more and more asserted in the thought that for anything in the world would not want to one such home for the elderly once fell her parents. Van Amerongen took fifteen years to interest scientists and doctors, to find investors, and then to get out on government officials. But it has achieved its: in 2009, Hogeway was opened.
Its construction cost about 25 million dollars. A unique nursing home is funded by the Government of the Netherlands, and the maintenance of one patient costs $ 8,000 per month. But the families of all those living here receive various subsidies from the state, and none pay more than $ 3,600. This is $ 43,200 per year. For comparison, a typical American nursing home costs twice as much: for the living of his relative in a separate ward his family pays more than 90,000 a year.Read also Become a parent for your parents
There are 152 people living in Hoogeve, 6-7 in the house, and each in a separate room. The interior of the houses is designed in strict accordance with the era, memories of which have been preserved in the memory of patients more or less clearly - whether it is the mid-fifties or early 2000's. Furniture, tablecloths, napkins, wallpaper pattern. What for? Then, why do nurses pretend to be cashiers and sellers. To the inhabitants of Hogevei felt that they live a normal life.
The modern approach to demented patients who are in the "ordinary" nursing home is perhaps more honest - but absolutely ruthless. "You are sick, you can not take care of yourself, you can not go out, you will forget who you are, and you will never return." A recent report by the Dutch Association for the Study of Alzheimer's Disease shows that patients with this diagnosis taken to a nursing home go out of the houses to the streets for an average of 96 seconds per day.1 Moreover, medicine tends to isolate patients with severe cognitive impairment. Of course, for their own good: it's easier for them to observe and be sure that everything is in order. But, for example, a 2012 study published in Nature Neuroscience,established: isolation leads to a decrease in the production of myelin in the body - one of the main "building materials" for nerve cells.2 And so, in isolated "for their own good" patients, dementia will only develop even faster.
Patients Hoogevei do not know that they are patients, and around - a nursing home. They live in their village in full confidence that they are at home. They are at any time free to go wherever they like (of course, within the fenced area, but everything is arranged so that they do not come across perplexity at the fences). They communicate with each other, go to the post office and to the store, to the theater and to the cafe. They are constantly visited by relatives - many come here almost every day. And even in a unique nursing home doctors from all over the world constantly come. The local model of caring for patients with dementia seems to have turned out to be the most successful in the world today. And similar settlements are already being built in Britain and Switzerland.
Because if a person can not be cured, this does not mean that he can not be helped. In Hogeway, there was no way to treat dementia - it has not been found anywhere yet. But here they have found a way to make people suffering from an incurable disease live normally and with dignity. They felt full-fledged people and rejoiced in life.And if for this it is necessary for them to play along, then is it bad?
The full text of the article about the village of Hogevey in English is available on the site of The Atlantic. The CNN report from the village of Hogevey can be viewed here.1 Published on the website of the American Hospital Association hhnmag.com