Different countries (and even regions within those countries) often have very different ideas when it comes to dealing with any issue. The elderly is no exception. And it seems like – if New Zealand’s Rotura CARE Village comes to fruition – this could be an incredibly positive transformation in the making.
Modeled after the De Hogeweyk facility in Holland, this facility has been created to be just like a town but on a much smaller scale. The idea of the design is to enable anyone who is in a care institution to live as normal a life as possible. No matter what their issue (Alzheimer’s Parkinson’s, dementia, etc.), these people should be given an opportunity to actually have a decent quality of life, rather than being shut away from the rest of society.
As Jannette Spiering, co-founder of De Hogeweyk explained:
“We have to leave the old institutions behind us. What we would like is favourable surroundings like here. It feels so natural, it’s not like a care institute. The fact that people with dementia can continue their lives in a normal surrounding supported by professional staff adds so much to their quality of life. Traditional nursing homes are very confusing for people with dementia. Research has shown that besides the medical aspects of care, wellbeing is also crucial. This style of care is just the first step in creating normalcy for people with dementia and their families.”
It has been most successful in New Zealand, and they are especially grateful for the assistance they have gotten from Holland. According to Therese Jeffs, Chief Executive of CARE Village:
“Our households are working so well now, we want to show new families and their loved ones around the incredible place we have created. People need to see for themselves all the things people are still able to enjoy, regardless of being in care. It is our hope that our home-like lifestyle model of care becomes the way things are done throughout New Zealand. The CARE Village has been about creating an environment where empathy is built into its very bricks and mortar, as demonstrated by De Hogeweyk, and I am proud to say we have achieved that.”